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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Their appreciation knows no bounds

Here, we are adding beans around the edges of the corn block. A few days ago we added pumpkin seeds down the middle. The corn is planted a little thickly for this but I am always expecting high mortality and then when everything lives, I can't bear to thin. Not right away, anyway.

The ground is scraped in the appropriate spot for small sprouted weeds, then indented by the end of the bean pipe. The bean is then fished out of the seed bag and sent down the pipe to fall into the hole. Soil is then scratched over the bean with the end of the pipe.

It sometimes happens that one encounters ground that does not yield well to the pipe. More vigorous efforts may lead to the end being plugged with soil. So we switch to the planting spear, which is our plug planter. This one is made from a narrow bladed trowel banged into one end of an old umbrella tent-pole pipe, and a piece of oak firewood bored through is banged onto the other end.

The procedure is similar but the bean is hand dropped into the hole opened by the trowel, which works fine. Later I come back and water the beans and pumpkins in to get them started.

Irrigation has begun. We 're using 3/4 inch soaker hoses. Our water pressure can handle only two hoses at a time, maybe about 25 PSI, not a lot of volume. It takes about three hours to make two fifty foot beds happy. We do this when the sun is low, to reduce evaporation. I also bathe the beds a bit with the hand nozzle, except for the tomatoes, who don't care for a shower.

The Black Seeded Simpson lettuce has begun to bolt along with the arugula and bok choi. The Golden Sexlink hens have a smaller pen than they should, so we ease the pressure on their grass by bringing them some of the bolted produce along with some comfrey.

Their appreciation knows no bounds.


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