Farm Log – March 31st

Coldcrops

March came in like a lion and went out like a leprechaun. We had three soaking wet, rainy days that dropped three inches of rain on us. All of the itsy-bitsy spiders were washed down the water spouts.  Today, the sun came out and dried up some of the rain. I set off this morning to clear beaver dams. The beavers want to keep all of the water from going into the river. I have other plans.

We have two sets of pipes that let water from the marsh back into the river. One has a gate, one doesn’t. The one that has a gate was effectively blocked by the beavers. The one that doesn’t have a gate was effectively slowed down by the beavers. It was easy enough to open up the pipe with a gate. It was slow work clearing the way for some extra drainage from the other pipe.

The big field is our Venice. It is full of canals and ponds. The Canadian geese are enjoying the new estuary. WIth all the beaver, Canadian geese and cold spring, it is not much different from Canada here in New Jersey.

A good soaking like this is helpful to let us know just how high above water we are here. We are not very high. Fields that we plan to plant were high, dry and well drained. The wet field was wet, with lots of standing water. The pipe at the deep end of the field was buried in mud. Someday that pipe will help with the drainage. Today, we just marked it so we can dig it out when it is a little drier.

Today, we moved the cold crops from the greenhouse out to the hoop house.We moved the spinach, chard, lettuce, kale, and broccoli out to the hoop houses where they will be planted soon. The hoop house was doing it’s job and turning the sun’s energy into heat. The plants should enjoy their new home.

After the flats of cold crops were moved to acclimate to their new home, we prepared a couple of raised beds for the root crops, which we will plant soon. The extra space in the green house will soon be filled with more flats of seedlings. There should be a lot of vegetables this year.

With the help of the Shedaker brothers, we sharpened the blades of the brush hog to prepare it for action before all the green comes back and hides all the mowing hazards. The brush hog did it’s bit, mowing down lots of wild blackberries. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the soak got the best of the tractor. I got hung up on a an old tire under the brush in the community gardens and I spun my way into a rut. Try as I might, I could not free the tractor from its mire. March played it’s last trick on me. I’ll get the Tractor out on April fools day. Today, I walked home.

When I gave up on the tractor and walked in the narrow lane, the peepers were peeping. I startled an egret, a muskrat, and several ducks as I walked in. It was a beautiful evening. It was a fine end to a funny month.

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