We are always excited to try new methods. While working at North Slope Farm I was taught to direct seed across the bed rather then in long rows parallel with the direction of the bed. With this method we were able to seed short straight lines and control the spacing to allow a 3.5″ scuffle hoe to weed between each row after the seed germinated. This idea is creative and unconventional, my favorite tip of thinking. By using the tools we have at hand, such as a single point seeder and a scuffle hoe, a system was developed. I continue to experiment with this system here at Great Road Farm. There are some tools I would like to develop to help with our system. We will have to thin the winter turnips we direct seeded by hand. It would be great if there were an attachment to our single point seeder that could accurately thin our seedlings with the same basic motion as seeding. The future holds some great inventions!
We plant our tomatoes just after May 15th, which is the last frost date in our area. This is an important date to remember. Last year we had a frost on May 14th, so it is always risky planting sensitive crops before then. Somehow this year we started harvesting tomatoes out in our field three weeks earlier then we normally do. The weather has been even and favorable, we planted at the right time, and nurtured our plants and in return they give us fruit. A lot of attention goes toward our tomatoes so sometimes we lose crops to weeds such as sweet potatoes, flowers, and carrots. Plants want to live so there is still a chance we can recover, however we always find comfort in the chaos.
I stumbled upon this picture as I was thinking about capturing the moment I am in right now. This picture embodies what an ideal farm would look like…healthy plants, straight rows, cultivated at the right time with cover crop in the background. The picture is from last month, when the weather was nice and mild, allowing us to cultivate every week. This past week has been just the opposite. Our crops are very bountiful and we struggle to harvest everything we can while staying on top of the weeds and thinking about planting for the fall. This is peak season for a farmer. After a couple months taking care of our tomato plants they are starting to yield nicely. We just harvested all of our garlic before a big rain storm which is extremely important because otherwise it would rot in the field from the soaking conditions. Being a farmer means you are on the weathers schedule, not your own. I could use a day off, however this lifestyle is so fulfilling I would not have it any other way.