Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day One on the Farm

Today was the long awaited day on which I became a more intimate aquaintance of Mother Earth. (She's amazing!) The farm work began.

One of the green houses
Days for the farm crew begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. although sometimes they run a little longer, like today--because we were planting  potatoes. I learned that there are tons of varieties! Fingerlings (Banana Fingerlings and French Fingerlings), Red Pontiac, All Blue, Mountain Rose...aren't these names fabulous? They remind me of my distant dream of creating the names of crayon colors, or maybe wall paint--I'd be thrilled with anything of that sort--creativity begs to be expressed! And the Pontiacs reminded me of the black Pontiac my parents had when I was a wee little babe and made me smile.

I also heard cows today in the distance--they graze a ways away from the rows we were working on today but they reminded me of how my dad used to tell me scary stories about THE COWS in Russia in order to get me to quiet down in rowdy states. A more personal form of the boogie man, Russian village style I guess...

Anyhow, the work was good, it was lovely to be out in the fresh air all day. Delicious vitamin D everywhere! I had to cut my nails today after farming because you hands get dirty and the shorter ya nails, the betta. Annie is extrordinarily hardcore and wears no work gloves but I can't handle that! Gloves and lotion for these cracked hands! And chapstick is a must. P.S. I got a small sunburn today, I love it! She says I will defintely have a different skin tone by month's end. Maybe I should do a before and after shot--that would be funny.

With regards to the farm labor specifically, today we prepped rows for planting broccoli and cauliflower wich entailed clearing out the beds of old produce that had bolted, argicultural term--or slang? for the plant going to seed, which makes it bitter and unsellable at market. So they all had to be uprooted, and then the soil had to be raked. After finishing that it was only 9:30 AM, what!?!?!?!? Time passes differently on the farm.

I then helped Lori clean up the swiss chard remains after a batch of it was picked and bundled in the greenhouse...and I was absolutely taken by how amazingly beautiful it looks in its stalks, all green and red!! The color is alarmingly vivid. Also, I had a dear English professor who goes by Chard for short and is a poet and that connection made me smile big.

Leafy romaine <3
We also put an irrigation system together for all the rows after all the plant refuse was cleared, and that was cool to watch. The system consists of three hollow, strawlike hoses being laid out on the soil beds, which were connected to three faucet-like fixtures at the start of the row. Looks like a T with three offshoots rather than one. We then planted the broccoli and cauliflower and then put rowcover on all of the transplants.  Rowcover is a microfiber sheet (I think) that is put over the plans as protection from bugs and harsh sun. It was billowing in the wind today and looked like God's comforter.  I'm sure he also has a pretty awesome bed. (of brocolli!) I love watching the wind go through things. The natural contours are so affecting.

We then planted potatoes all together after Tripp, the farm manager plowed the rows with the tractor. I liked the sense of comraderie, weeee.

We ate dinner. We drove back home. Day One Done. Now I finish this post and go to bed.



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