Saturday, March 31, 2012
Wednesday was the hotest day so far, reaching past twenty two degrees celcius in the sun. I started the morning building up the mounds that covered the potatoes to help with the daily loss of moisture in the heat. It took time to break up the compact paths between the ridges and hoe the soil into straight lines. It took most of the morning to get through the five rows and set up a sprinklet to ater them all. I moved onto weeding the asparagus bed afterwards whcih was covered in needles and dandilion which had to be dug up by the root and completely removed or else it would return in greater numbers around the same area. Before I headed in for lunch I gathered some tomatoes from the main kitchen window and moved them into the garden greenhouse. I labeled each variety of tomoatoe with a red pen as well as the different flower varieties I had germinated for Lesley whos labels had begun to fade from the bright sun and humidity. For lunch we had a vegetarian gree couscous and a large salad with bread. Lindsay was buisy with the kids and making school runs so Clara helped watch while one girl played in the garden while we worked. Lesley arrived back from Barcelona and went right to work helping in the garden. James wanted to get started arranging beds and planting the gardens on the patio next to the galler cafe so I helped him decide wich plants should go in now or hold off for another few weeks. We had to rake a good amount of soil and flattenout the beds to meet the patio and then arrange the lines of plants. I spent a good amount of the time pushing wheel barrows of top soil out of the old leek ben I had tilled the day before up to the patio garden. It was hot enough that this was the first day I had choosen to join the other workers in taking off my shirt and getting all the sun I could. The breeze was nice, and the smells of the spring blooms were relaxing. It was more like a day in the mid summer than the end of winter, even the pond was full of spring life. Wednesday night I fixed a plate of chips and some pasta with greens out of the garden. I sat out in the evening air playing guitar as the sun set and enjoyed every effect of the evnironment I could take in befor ethe sun dropped behind the tree line and the half moon ook over. I feel asleep early on the couch in the den that night watching old Cohen Brother's films and allowed the fire to burn out before eleven. The night was silent and peacful as a cool air settled over the property laying a thin sheet of frost over the fields and ending the warm weather. Clouds where said to be moving in for the weekend along with cool breezes and heavier frost. I am worried that the sprouts that have done so well so far are in risk of damage, so we will try to be proactive with the plants in the the greenhouses and covering any sprouting plants with plastic in the gardens. A frost can shock and set back all of the vegetables for the season, and possibly even kill off any sprouts that have not yet broken the surface. In the past year, a heavy snow storm that outwieghed the past decade ruined perennial crops and gardens in the eary winter followed by an early and very warm spring. Many farmers planted early to make up for the lost crop but lost most of the early starts bcause of a late heavy week of frost in May. If the same where to happen this year, many farmers would lose too much of thier starting crops to have a successful season and would likely switch to more profitable short season crops that can be sold in market rather than the various greens and root vegetables popular on the dinner tabel. Sustainable food production can only be workable when the workers and family are well fed and suppourted. If crops are lost to weather and pests that would normally bring in the funds for equiptment and supplies, more land must be set aside to making a monatary income, which often would take away from the area used for property usage. Many farmers are more prepared this year with plastic covers and tunnels than ever before to ensure a succesful crop reguardless of frosts. Some growers that have been organic in the past have began using conventional methods and sprays to ensure a sellable crop according to some local farmers. Organic is the way of the land, but has become more and more difficult with the changing weather and economy in the past decade. Cool, wet weather, more so than in the long past has created an out break of various rots and mildew pathogens that have rarely affected organic growers in the previous generations of local growers. Consumers do not recongnize garden fresh vegetables the way they used to and even in farmers markets, geo engineered varieties of common vegetables are selling better than the organic providers. This weekend we have plans of traveling to Kerry, a beautiful scenic area full of farm land and sustainable projects where I hope to see a more positive opinion of the future in organic production.