Monday, April 20, 2015

Damn, y'all, it's like I'm a modern-day Rene Descartes

Come on, you guys know Rene Descartes -- Cogito, ergo sum? Je pense, dans je suis? I think, therefore I am? None of this ringing a bell? Damn, I thought my readership was better educated than that.  Anyway, I, too, have a founding principle: Je plante graines, dans il pleu. I plant seeds, therefore it rains. Yesterday, down on The Farm, I once again proved this to be true. I might be the most reliable rainmaker in the Western Hemisphere. Within hours of putting carrot seeds in the ground, it rained. Damn, I'm good.

So, yeah, I was down on The Farm yesterday. We were working mostly on the irrigation system, but I did a little planting, and it rained that night -- all night -- and it is raining again tonight. Feeling good about my magic touch.

But first things first. Checking on the progress of the crops already in the ground, we can see that the lettuce and radishes are sprouting nicely:

Ditto for the peas:

And the spinach:

And the garlic, which we hope will truly thrive in the full sun:

Yeah, all those beds look a little dry, but the sub-surface soil moisture was not bad, and it did rain, so I'm not worried.

Having checked boxes on what we did last week, it is time to cover what we did Sunday. Lots o' physical labor, I'm afraid. First off, we had new beds in place that needed dirt. The dirt was in, but not distributed. Which means I had to shovel and rake the dirt around to get it evenly distributed:

Not so bad, really:

Once the soil was distributed, it was time to plant. I put in carrots:

Used a method I never have before -- seed tapes. Seeds are embedded in long paper strips that quickly biodegrade, giving even spacing. It's a whole lot easier than planting tiny little seeds like carrots by hand:

Put them in, buried them, dropped the microphone:

Move on, y'all. After that, time to put up some irrigation equipment. We're using sprinkle hoses this year instead of soak hoses (soak hoses go on the ground and trickle water out -- sprinkle hoses spray water from pinholes in the hose). We are putting the sprinkle hoses on trellises, facing down so that the hoses spray into the bed, minimizing water loss:

I'll let you know how well it works. Naturally, for it to work at all, there has to be a water supply. Farmer Tom ran a hose from the house, then established a distribution station down by the beds. He sank a post and mounted a hose splitter. Here's the post:

And part one of the hose-splitter process -- a plate to mount the splitter on:

Then comes the splitter:

With all that in place, we strung the hose from the house:

Then we mounted a digger bar on the tractor and dug a trench for the hose (can't have it getting chewed up when mowing the lawn, now can we?):

We buried the hose in the trench, and life is good:

Yeah, it does seem like a lot of work, but it is so we can keep the crops watered and protected from deer, using these bad boys:

We hook them up to a water supply. The deer protectors have motion sensors and start shooting out water when deer or other animals come by, scaring the animals off. Or drenching them if the animals are humans down to tend the garden who forgot to turn off the deer protectors. But that's a story for another day. Next week, we'll get these bad boys in the ground, and who knows what else? Stay tuned.

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