Tucked away in the back of my mind is my eternal optimistic view of the world outside my kitchen window. I don’t get too worked up about the things for tomorrow is alway another day. I only came to that reasoning after 30 years of living though. Before I had any life experience everything seemed like the end of the world. As a farmer there are going to be good years, bad years…so so years and a bad year here and there. You take it as it comes that is the part of all farmers that tend to be a little bit of a gambler at heart. The heat and the drought this year has taken a toll of the farm there is no denying that, we don’t have near the flower crops we would normally have this time of year and a few crops we planting the end of May and into June wouldn’t even germinate because of the heat and drought. The rabbits and deer have moved into this bottom land for a quick snack before heading to a fairly dry creek bed for a drink or I should say in search of a drink and snack. Who could blame them there food source in the wooded hill behind us are suffering just as much leaving them with very little to eat…down here is easy pickings. Most of the things we can do little about…it is beyond our abilities as farmers to control…but some of it we can help move along and protect.
One of these things is drip irrigation. This is a watering system that allow for water to drip for a long period of time at the root base of the plant. By dripping water slowly at the base of the plant water is not wasted or evaporated before the plant can take it in. You can water more deeply and completely this way while using 1/3 less water then if you tried to hand water the crop. Not to mention it is hands free…farmer free and time is money. There isn’t a worst waste of time then standing over one of these 40 foot bed watering when you could be using your time planting, weeding or fixing something that needs fixing.
Heat and drought mixed together is a crop killer and even if it doesn’t take out the crop completely it will reduce it’s productivity greatly. It was shocking to have blackberry plants loaded with berries and only one harvest under our belt..3 days later nothing…the berries gone. The plant drops the berries trying to reserve it’s energy during the super hot day we went through. I took one of our CSA shareholders out to the field to collect a container of black berries and stood there with my mouth open wide…I couldn’t believe these vines were bare. Lesson learned! Pick them fast if you know it’s going to get hot..way hot. Now the good news is we have had some rain fall on the farm in the last couple of days. And what a difference that makes because as much as you water it is not the same as that oxygen hydrogen rich life giving rain. The plants respond with stiffened up stems and heads held toward the sky. The seedling break free of that cracked hard ground ready to fight to good fight. it is amazing what nature can do. So this farmer is breathing a little easier and ready to battle on with a renewed sense of we can get though this smiling.
I spent yesterday planting more flowers and some beans. It has been many years that my field isn’t a glow with hot summer colors from reds to yellows. And that just won’t due. I field of flowers a field of food…that is my farm…and that it will be…thank you Lord for the rain and the cooler weather…but most of all thank you for knowing this too will pass..and I will live to fight another day out there in the field where love grows.