Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dealing with adversity

My farming partner has quit the operation.  He was falling farther and farther behind, missing more and more days.  I was not surprised when he walked out.  He is feeding the pigs daily until they are shipped on June 5, then he is done. 

The greenhouse was in tough shape.  I took it over, replanted 2,000 seeds 2-1/2 weeks ago, and we began potting up the first of them in only a week!  Some of them are already salable, thank goodness.  I am missing a lot of the early market, but I will make up a good bit of it at the tail end. 

Krystal, Androo, Kim, Clay and Lisa are all working when they can.  Of course none of them is full time, but between them, they are doing a great job.  A little here, a little there, it all adds up!

Krystal will finish potting up and labeling the second seeding of greenhouse plants today.  She literally saved the greenhouse.  There will be enough sales to cover the expenses, so there won't be a loss out there. 

Androo is here all day Friday and half of Saturday.  He has worked here for years, so he knows the ropes.  He is supervising the others, and he is quite good at fencing and the water system.  His expertise is invaluable.  He is helping with the garden layout.

Kim is learning the greenhouse, got all of the "tender" seeds done yesterday.  Melons, cucumbers and squash are the ones that don't like to be disturbed by knocking them out of a pot when planting, so the seeds go into special certified organic biodegradable pots that go right into the garden.  (The little peat pots most use have an unapproved glue in them, so we do not use them in our organic operation.)  He is also doing some cleaning and organizing, and has given Krystal some further instructions on how to milk.  He is very efficient in the dairy. 

Lisa is very small (wears size 4), but she is strong!  No one else could run the tiller (Kim has a back problem, Krystal tried and couldn't do it, and Androo is only here on Fridays), so she gave it a try.  I had removed irrigation lines, mowed the north half of garden right down to the dirt with my Bad Boy, then took up the trash with the Sears mower using the grass catcher.  Lisa then used the tiller to get that part of the garden in shape.  What a miracle!! 

Clay finished up the last of the onions on Tuesday.  There are at least six rows of onions out there.  We ALWAYS run out of onions.  Hopefully this year will be different.

We are about a month behind.  Other farmers are already selling lettuce, spinach and radishes.  Our early stuff just went in, and we still have to plant turnips, beets and the large greens like kale and collards.  But we will catch up.  Thanks to an excellent crew (and putting in about 16 hours a day by yours truly), we will triumph over adversity.  That is the name of the game in farming.

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