Friday, May 27, 2016

Welcome Back

I got back today after being gone for a week.  I was just blown away by the changes in the garden!  Here are a few highlights:

  • Beans planted just nine days ago are flying out of the ground!
  • Corn & basil from the same day are coming up
  • The potatoes are well established
  • Haynes Bluestem & Prelude Spring wheat are coming up, a little weak
  • Oderbrucker and Manshury Barley are coming up OK
  • Lettuce that I planted last September for a winter hoop house is now coming up nicely in the naked oats.  This ground was worked up before sowing in mid-April.  Weird!
  • Garlic is insanely healthy looking
  •  The Bacska winter wheat is looking amazing
  • Tomatoes and peppers are just about through with transplant shock.  I saw one pepper plant that died
  • The red clover corn plot is looking better.  Two more diggings and I can plant.  If the rain holds off I will work it up tomorrow.

Facing North, you can see the beans, then two rows of tomatoes, peppers, and a few celeriac.  The weaker row past that is a mixed row of bok choi, cilantro, lettuce, and the Haynes Bluetem/Prelude.  I think the lettuce is a bust.  The bok choi looks OK but it may have to be torn out due to excessive cabbage beetles.  Over to the right the potatoes look great.

Historic Spring wheats: Sturgeon, Marquis, and Red Fife.  I think it was a mistake to plant it right next to the winter wheat.  The Sturgeon is getting shaded out big time.
I had a great experience driving home yesterday.  I detoured through the tiny Amish community in Kingston/Daulton, hoping to see some fields being worked with draft animals.  I got my wish--I saw a 5-abreast hitch of Belgians doing a beautiful job of pulling a 2 bottom plow.  I was so excited that I missed a lot of the details.  The setup was a forecart pulling an old plow, probably a 2 x 14 or 2 x 12.  It was raised and lowered very easily by the operator, maybe even a trip type of plow. 

The team was plowing a corner field, and I passed the field twice.  The first time, the team was being rested with no one attending! The whole rig was just sitting there, with 10,000 lbs of horse flesh standing till!  I poked around the neighborhood some more in my car, and I was back in 5 minutes.  Now the team was being worked again, alone, by a boy not more than 12 years old.  WOW!  Now I was triply amazed.  I waved and the boy waved back with a smile.  I complimented him on his team and left the scene.  I would have loved to watch more but I figured I had been impolite enough already.  Anyhow, this scene will stick with me!

One other thing--the plowing job was excellent.  The field was a thin hay, or maybe just weeds, but it definitely had some sod in it.  Nevertheless, the soil was turned over and everything buried, completely, and the soil crumbled beautifully.  The field could have been harrowed with a spike tooth and planted the same day.  The plow bottoms were beautifully scoured and shiny.  A really professional job all around.

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