Busy as a June Bug
Not sure what a June bug is exactly or what makes it so busy, but that is how it feels at the farm. It is a satisfying level of busy along with a thankfulness that it stopped raining long enough to get transplanting.
The farms transformation seems as sudden and rapid as the trees getting leaves this spring. I know its going to happen but still shocks me everytime with how rapid the spring melts into summer. The early taste of August weather around Memorial Day has been a boon for drying out fields, but a stress for keeping those plants already in the ground happy. We have an irrigation system, but the man hours required to get it set up are currently primarily devoted to the 3 person beast known as the transplantor. We've all spent many a fine hour in the comfy seats.
You start by squeezing little plants out of their plastic trays, hoping the roots hang together, planting them into the opening left by the metal water wheel along with a nice puddle of water that will tide it over until rains or irrigation. Adam has spent enough hours in the drivers seat during the end of last week that he should have been able to reach California, unfortunately due to only reaching max speeds of around 0.4 mph, he instead only would have barely made it out of town. Instead of the miles of black tarmac stretched ahead he sees raised black plastic beds or freshly prepared soil. While the speeds are slower and noticeably less exciting than Nascar, it requires the same level of professional driving to keep the wheel centered on the plastic bed, while avoiding the drip tapes hidden below.
Today the strawberry plants Roy ordered finally made it out from the cooler and into raised beds courtesy of Dan, Deb, and Adam. Last week it was a mix of transplanting from corn and soybeans (yes most other farmers find this insane but it gives us a good stand establishment and a jump of those weeds), cantaloupe, sweet potato slips, cucumbers, zuchinni, eggplant, and winter squash. Most of these seedlings seemed to have a peculiar propensity to grow rather tall and leggy, which is not desireable in a transplant as you'd prefer short and sturdy stem rather than one more liable to snap. I'm not positive what's been causing this, most likely leaving them inside the protected greenhouse for longer than I should. However, I prefer to think its like the way pets begin to resemble their owners or vis-versa, hence plants seeing my height as a guide.
As we have more and more plants in the ground more time is devoted to taking care of those plants, weeding, watering, harvesting, putting on row covers, taking off row covers, and so forth. Its definitely been a slow start to the spring, but things definitely seem to be taking off for the most part with these last couple of sunnier weeks.
Hope everyone has had a chance to get out and enjoy this beautfiul spring weather.