tractors are nice

Dear Readers,

Our little tiller is getting a lot of use these days, as we till winter rye under. Jascha does most of the tilling because I am not very good with machines. I'd probably do everything with my own two hands if I had the choice! But certain tools and machinery make farming way more profitable, so tilling it is...

For example, I was turning the compost over with a pitchfork, bit by bit, and our farm neighbor Bill saw me toiling away. He came over with his big tractor and turned the compost over in minutes. By the way, that foliage growing in the compost (see above) is winter squash-- squash seeds really like growing in compost!

There are times when I wish we could use a big tractor to weed, but our permanent raised beds mean that we have to weed with hoes. Keeping up with bindweed (left) and chickweed and a gazillion others can be daunting. The trick is to be methodical about it: make lists, stick to the plan, and do a little bit every day!

The sudden flush of weeds is accompanied by blooms! We are selling lamb's ear, mint, chamomile, bachelors buttons, and winter rye. Soon my all-time favorite- yarrow- will be blooming! 

 purple sensation allium

purple sensation allium

 chamomile

chamomile

 bachelor's button

bachelor's button

 yarrow

yarrow

Despite the drought (we haven't seen rain for weeks), we are able to keep the plants watered using drip irrigation-- a farm "implement" of sorts that can't compare to hand watering. It's efficient and relatively low cost. You can see how dry the farm is by the contrast in color of the wet, dark soil, and the dry, light soil:

Some things like it hot though, like the Kent Beauty oregano below. It doesn't have any drip irrigation on it at all, and it couldn't be happier.

Wishing you all a long-overdue rainy day!
 

Laura Beth