January 13, 2008

Kathryn came to the farm today, and as usual a lot got done in a short amount of time. We had purchased new planting trays, really heavy plastic ones with over 150 cells per tray. About half of them are filled with seed from last year’s tomatoes, peppers, etc. Now we need to order a whole lot more seeds.

Also the stock (this is a heavily scented cool weather flower) was all transplanted into the garden, taking up 6 rows in two beds. I’ve never grown stock before and don’t entirely know what I’m doing. But, nothing new there…. We pulled another mutant turnip today. This one is so hideously malformed I can’t even sell it to our customers with a sense of humor about these things. I’ve really got to find out what is causing many of our root crops to be any morphology except round. Clearly, I’m not in touch with my Inner Turnip. (Addendum 1/14/08: the culprit is, nitrogen. It turns out you can’t plant root crops into soil that has had fertilizer applied unless quite some time has gone by…the ground in question was summer’s organically fertilized zucchini patch…..oops!)

Yesterday we assessed and sort of began repairing storm damage. The battered tent was extracted from the grape arbor. The arbor is easily repaired, the tent….is not. I think it just became "spare parts" for the original tent. The fallen almond tree was cut up, and the fence fixed. Sort of. The lighthouse was mucked out, since storm water always ruins the dryness of the straw inside. This time, though, we got cast-off expanded metal from our farming partner and laid it down on the lighthouse floor. I am hoping that this will keep a great deal of the straw high and dry. If I ever get time, I’ll apply the long-overdue roof patch to the outside of the structure where it rests on the concrete slab, and hopefully eliminate the water coming in altogether (but in 5 years I haven’t managed to stop the leaking, so best not to become too hopeful there). I’m hanging it up early tonight, tomorrow we go to our first rehearsal with the Berkeley Community Chorus in pursuit of another musical pipe dream–the chance to perform Mozart’s Requiem. It’s going to be three free concerts in April/May, http://www.bcco.org/ for more information.

The seed order is ready to be placed. As I run over the lists of what we need, it occurs to me, fruit grows on trees and vines that live from year to year, except for melons. Watermelons and cantaloupes. They always lurk, easy to forget in the lists of squash and tomatoes. Can’t someone come up with a melon tree?

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