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from the Field

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August 26, 2018
Driest Since...
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

Camping and hiking at Rickett's Glen State Park this past weekend.
It's a strange feeling to not have to rush around completing certain parts of our to-do list prior to an impending rain event. Having a few days or even a week to complete jobs, get ahead, get caught up, and mildly enjoy the pace of production has been a rare luxury during this very wet season. Even sneaky thoughts of intentionally adding water to the fields now try to enter my brain. Phrases like "wow that soil looks dry" or "those crops look thirsty" pass between my ears and mock my prior too-much-water frustrations. Attempts to dissolve and dissipate these thoughts using farmworkmindfulness are invoked. Steady, I instead encourage the crops to be patient: you must send those roots down to find your own moisture. It will rain again, probably too much. Also, if we hadn't already received 2 months worth of rain in the first half of August maybe I would listen to your requests and/or complaints. You can do it I promise.
All seems to remain well. Shares of the harvest stay ample. Potatoes are now 66% harvested thanks to the 20 or so members who came out to help today. Butternut will hopefully be retrieved and stowed this week. Progress is even starting to be made towards our NRCS funded water management upgrades. Cover crops are thriving and taking care of the soil. Additional fall roots and greens like watermelon radishes, white and purple daikons, arugula, mustard mix, and baby kale have been direct seeded and are up and growing. Many man hours last week were spent weeding and cultivating fall carrots and rutabaga and they look great. Fall brassicas like cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower were cleaned up again and probably appreciate this dry weather. Now we need to look closely at them to see if they require an additional dose of food (i.e. organic fertilizer) after all the drenching rain we received during their outdoor life which may have washed away nutrients as well as stunted their root growth. Veggie life goes on.
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