Farm School

Hello Folks!

I get asked from time to time how I learned to farm. I suppose it might sound cliche to say that I am “learning all the time” but these wonderfully hectic Spring days are continually working to teach me how to grow food on our piece of earth. I’ve noted two important types of lessons this season: the things that no one ever told me about and the things that I should be careful not to overlearn. My principal example of the first happened a few weeks ago when I noticed that the plants in the greenhouse didn’t seem to be growing optimally. Now, to be fair, most normal people would have noticed much earlier that there was a layer of dirt on the greenhouse as thick as pine bark, but the need to wash the greenhouse was a simple fact that the entire small farming world conspired to keep from me. The latter lesson was demonstrated this week in the squash bed. When we planted our squash, I had memories of last spring’s Great Deluge where, by the end of the week, it seemed like bringing two of every animal into our house would be the most responsible thing to do. Thinking that heavy rains are the rule rather than the exception we planted not only in raised beds, but in hills on top of raised beds. Of course the more raised a plant is, the faster it dries out, so accordingly the gods have given us a rather dry spell and our squash looks severely like it could use a drink. I have gone back to my lessons learned section where I had written in bold to “MAKE HIGHER BEDS” and added “DON’T OVERREACT”

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