Seeding day! More soil blocks and lettuce planting this morning. We did some maintenance on the lawnmower and two people from a local repair shop stopped by to see if any of our equipment needed attention. We gave him one tractor battery and he’s coming to pick up and work on another old tractor (see pictures of the old Ford tractor) later in the week.
The greenhouse next to the one we’re currently using has a cover crop that we mowed today, and that I will till up tomorrow. Then, in about a week we’ll till again and then transplant the first round of lettuce that has been growing in the soil blocks.
Although to day was the first day of spring, there has been no sign of such a day. It’s still cold and wet with a chance of snow tomorrow morning. I’m new to this part of the country so I guess that’s why the weather isn’t bothering me yet. We started the day potting chard and planting onions in the greenhouse. There’s still plenty of that to do but we ran out of time to finish it today. I tilled the ground in the next greenhouse where lettuce (see pictures of the sprouts) will be transplanted in the next week or so. Another round of tilling is on the schedule before transplanting will begin.
All this week we’ve been doing some spring tune-ups and check-ups on motorized equipment. Yesterday we checked the oil and gas, checked the air filter and greased fittings on the riding lawn mower. We did most of the same on the tiller before I started working with it today.
After I wrapped up the tilling we checked and charged batteries for a tractor and a truck they call Caddy. Both started and we found out that Caddy just needs a new battery (see picture of Caddy). Steve and Cecelia went in a little early and I stayed out to finish in the greenhouse. This is why they love interns I’m sure. I hoed the entire perimeter of the greenhouse where the tiller could not reach, by myself. That’s a 20’ x 90’ greenhouse (see pictures of the greenhouse). It’s great to still be getting my workouts in while I’m at work instead of having a gym membership. There’s nothing like breaking a sweat when it’s 40 degrees outside and inhaling fresh churned dirt all afternoon.
We did a little more seeding today so I made soil blocks for about an hour. But we wanted to get outside because we had our first full day without rain. There’s a lot of work to be done on two of the greenhouses. The first greenhouse needed new plastic and siding to hold the plastic on. We got it all set up for the plastic and had to break for lunch. After that Scott, from the Federal Wildlife Conservation office came to update records of our efforts to add native plants and trees to the property and to note the location of a new greenhouse. Once he left, found the plastic for the greenhouse and covered it so the ground has a chance to dry out.
The next greenhouse we worked on collapsed over the winter. The arches caved in and the plastic filled with water in the middle. We drained the water and took the plastic off. Tomorrow we will take it apart and get it back in shape to use before things get too busy around here.
Today I started disassembling the greenhouse that I wrote about yesterday and it took the whole day. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll start bending the arches back and get it back together.
I’m excited to start these projects to get my mind set on this type of work. It takes more than intuition or a college degree to do this work well. Most of it is just about experience. I want to do a better job of reasoning through problems and getting things done efficiently.
The weather was amazing! I don’t know how warm it was but I was down to just a t-shirt at one point and I got some sun on my face. I finished taking apart the greenhouse today and we got a lot of trees moved. Cecelia planted hundreds of trees and seedlings when they first bought this property over 10 years ago. They were all planted in rows in a safe location until they matured. Now the trees are getting too big for where they are and they’re moving them to places all over the property.
Today we went razor clam hunting in Grayland little over an hour from the farm. There’s a limit of 15 clams per person and yesterday there were clams everywhere. It only took about an hour for the three of us to reach the limit. To catch the clams you use a cylinder shaped pipe (see picture) that is open on one end and has a small hole and a handle on the other end. You look for small impressions in the sand where the clam is digging, jam the pipe into the sand and cover the small hole on top as you pull the pipe out of the sand. Covering the small hole keeps the sand in the pipe as you pull it up. If you do it right the clam comes up with the sand.