Monday, May 5, 2008

What's New at the Farm - 4/30/08

WHAT’S NEW AT THE FARM?
4/30/08 BLM

We’ll it’s wet. Very wet.

It’ll probably be the first of next week before we get back into the field. We’re going to plant onions next week along with sweet peas and lettuce gets transplanted too.

Last weekend I plowed my garden and did one of our isolation fields as well. This field is one that we’ve rented for quite a few years and I’ve never been able to plow there until late May. It’s what we call a “late” field. Late in that it’s a clay soil that stays wet well into the spring and then dries out to be like concrete in the summer. When we first started renting the field it had been continuous conventional corn since I can’t remember.

The organic matter in this particular field is really quite low, it’s a late field, it has no water available, and getting to it can sometimes be a challenge. Other that that, and the fact it isn’t the best isolation we’ve ever had; it’s a pretty nice field. Its close by but you’d never know it was there. The deer aren’t too bad either. So, you’re probably wondering why we continue to rent what is probably viewed as a marginal piece of land. Because we’ve never had a bad crop on it. Never, and I mean never, no matter if it’s droughty, wet, insect infested or anything, we always have a great crop of whatever we have there.

We rent several other fields around Albion and Benton. Most are on the small side; two to five acres or so. Isolation refers to the distance between these fields and anyone growing vegetables in the same family of what were trying to produce seed to. For example, if we are growing an acorn squash (a pepo) for seed we need at least a mile of pepo free space to maintain the varietal purity that we desire. This means anyone that has a garden and grows those crops must be asked not to grow them. Most people are pretty accommodating as to helping us out.

I’ll continue on isolations next week, Brian

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