If you are going to be a farmer, you have to have “sticktoitiveness. Yes, that’s a word, and I couldn’t find a better one to describe farmers or at least this farmer. I am going to get a crop off my farm no matter what Nature (the weather, pests, disease) throws at me. I am even going to get a crop off my farm when I have to fill out the umpteenth survey from the US Department of Agriculture, or the mountain of paperwork to keep my farm Certified Organic. Of all the hassle that comes with growing foods without chemicals, Nature is my favorite partner to work with.
Nature is a formidable, constantly mixing things up – daily! This spring has been one for the ages, and it looks like June will be as us farmers call it “Junuary.” Last year was a breeze, this year has been a howler. I have a confession though; every time I planted spinach or beets, it would rain buckets a few days later. The first time it happened, I chocked it up to bad timing. Planting spinach before a deluge on my farm is akin to pouring concrete over the crop. We have a fair amount of clay, and if the sun comes out a few days later I could make bricks!
Bear in mind that spinach seed and vegetable seeds in general are a hardy lot, but they aren’t as hardy as weeds. And yes, a few seeds have managed to find their way to the light of day.
Undeterred, I plowed up more ground and planted again and it rained buckets again. One more time I planted and it rained again. I am not a superstitious person, but after three times of planting spinach and creating “concrete” even I was getting a little wary of planting spinach. Well, last week I was getting ready to plant more spinach, and I looked at the forecast for Thursday and Friday, scratched my chin – deep in thought and at that moment I decided to not plant spinach! So, for the record, that last deluge was not my fault, because I didn’t plant spinach! Although I did seed 4 acres of rye/fescue seed for a new hay field the night before! 🙂
If you are going to be a farmer, you have to have sticktoitiveness. It also helps to be diversified and while the spinach is languishing, the potatoes, onions, sugar snap peas, beans, carrots, lettuce, kohlrabi, blackberries, raspberries, apples, plums, pears, cucumbers, corn, summer and winter squash are coming along.
But everything, including this farmer, and probably you, could use some warmer weather to really get growing.
The undeterred farmer,