Thursday, August 16, 2007

This week on the Farm

It is Thursday and sort of a day off here at the Farm. By day off, I mean it is not a picking day, not a market day, so this is the day that some other work will finally get done, like catching up on the laundry. Even though we have an electric dryer, I am trying to get back into the habit of hanging our clothes on the line. For the first 5 years we lived here, we only had the line to use.

We got the dryer for damp and/or cold days when it seems to take forever clothes to get dry and I kind of fell into the habit of using it more than was necessary. Even though hanging clothes on the line is kind of a pain, when you get the laundry down to bring it in, it smells so good, you wonder why in the world you were using the dryer.

So far, this week has been sort of hectic. With temperatures soaring back close to 100 degrees, we are outside in the field working before most people have had their morning coffee. By 10am we are starting to feel the burn. Lunchtime signals the end of the first half of the work day. Since we try to plan the daily work schedule around the hottest part of the day, we put in 5-6 hours early in the day and then another 2-3 (or more...depends on what needs to be done) after the sun starts going down. One side of the Farm is totally treelined and at this time of year there is a pretty good shadow on a portion of the garden from about 2pm onward. Unfortunately, there isn't anything planted there right now so the shady spot is not being worked. Irony is a big part of organic farming.

Right now we are trying to keep our fall seedlings watered. I have about 750 broccoli, cabbage and pac choi seedlings in the plant shed and at least that many sown but not yet up. Everyday is an adventure because I never know what will have been eaten during the night. Slugs are a big problem because they are very sneaky. I even tried putting out a pan of beer, which is an old time solution to ridding your garden of slugs. Theoretically, they are supposed to climb into the pan to get at the beer, fall in and drown and then you just toss them over the fence. Well, I have my own theory. I think that some slugs were chosen by the slug elders to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of all slugdom. The banzai slugs then faked human beings into thinking that putting out these pans of beer was a good way to get rid of them, when in actuality all slugs are sots who come to the pan, get drunk and then head back to where ever it is that slugs go during the day. Every day for a week, I checked the pan of beer for dead slugs and found only shiny trails where they had been. By the end of the week, I got tired of hosting a kegger for the slimy critters and just resigned myself to the fact that they were here to stay. And then they just seemed to disappear. I think maybe the heat got to them, but you never know. Maybe they just all had incredible hangovers and called in sick.
Later, Taters.