Last week we heard about hail just to our west, flooding off to our east, and funnel clouds a few miles north. Thankfully we hit a sweet spot in the middle of all that, and saw nothing more here on the farm than a whole lot of rain and wind. Other than a few wind-broken plants here and there, all's OK, and the rain and warmer temperatures are pushing your crops on fast!
Heavy, prolonged rains like that will also bring up every weed seed that ever even thought about existing, putting a nice green 'fuzz' over the whole farm if we don't jump right on them. Since we don't use herbicides here, that translates to a whole lotta weeding, hoeing, and cultivating, which takes up a tremendous amount of our labor hours over the course of a season. Remember that old Tootsie-Pop commercial, where the owl contemplates how many licks it takes to get to the center? I think of that every time I'm hoeing the same patch over and over and over...I have yet to figure out how many licks it takes to get a weed-free stand of vegetables.
We started farming almost ten years ago, and until last summer, that was a comparatively very dry decade. Growing under droughty conditions is very different than growing under soggy conditions. (Both have their challenges; I'll still happily take too dry over too wet). Last summer was ridiculously wet, and we learned more than a few new lessons - number one being Thou Shalt Not Let Your Weed Seedlings Languish. Looks like we're in for a marathon weed-eliminating session this week!
Salad greens are back for a good while now, and the kales, collards, and chard are growing like they're ready to take over the world. Tomato and pepper plants will only be available for a few more weeks. Many more fresh goodies are right around the corner!