3/23/06 Vol. 3 #2

I know, I am a day late again.  I told Rett the other day that my life is not my own right now!  Another busy week off the farm starting with a Friday meeting of many different groups involved in agriculture in North Carolina.  Ostensibly it was to discuss energy and farming.  It was really meant to get the many disparate parties at the same table to talk with each other.  You know the traditionalists and the forward thinkers.  Over the years we have participated in lots of these kinds of meetings and at first it was to assure the “conventional” ag folks that we didn’t have horns and tails.  Now with large scale agriculture in rough shape there is not much rancor at the table, just a lot of agreement that changes need to be made.  The discussion of energy use on farms was very interesting and depressing at the same time.  For us it is just a shot in the arm to continue to work on efficiency and other measures even more than we already have for years.  This was followed by the SSWAG board meeting for three days!  With market sandwiched in between we were really ready for a rest come Monday.  But Joann made us plant another 1500 heads of lettuce then we passed out!

Finally a good rain on Tuesday!  We had almost an inch and it came down perfectly.  Still we headed out to Raleigh on Wednesday to procure yet more pipe for the water works here at the farm.  In an attempt to catch more water from our creek, while it is still available, we are increasing the size of the pipe we use to gravity feed water out of the creek and into the lower pond.  From there we can pump it up the hill to the other pond and hopefully fill it up before it gets hot.  For years we have had an inch and a quarter line running for 800 feet, from the only deep place in the creek, down to the lower pond where the irrigation pump is.  I am talking Roman style water movement here.  It has given us a small flow which is adequate in normal conditions but in 2002 when the creek ran dry in June we realized it wasn’t enough. So we will now have a two inch pipe to give us much more water.

Back to farm work today as Rachel started back for the first day this season and along with Joann we began to get ready to plant the early, early tomatoes.  These are the Early Pick’s, Orange Blossom’s, and the first Cherokee Purple’s planted into our sliding tunnels.  The transplants look great and will be happy to get into the ground early next week.  First though we need to set up irrigation, fabric mulch and the trellises.  Next we have to slide the tunnels over them before we dare to plant them out in the uncertain weather of late March.  It is good to have the staff back as they are lots of fun and they yank us out of our winter mindset and back to normal farm life.  I will miss that second cup of coffee though.

Came home today and in the mail was a copy of our alumni magazine from Utah State University.  Low and behold was an article on us and the farm.  Here is a link to it on the web for those with lots of spare time (it’s really not a very long piece).  I have know idea what the “bioneer” thing is about but…

Picture of the Week
Lettuce marching to the horizon
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