We haven't seen the sun since last Saturday. There are clouds in the sky. Clouds in our hair. Clouds in the trucks. In the greenhouse. And in the pastures. Every once in a while it rains. Then it stops. Then it showers. Then it stops. And, still the clouds linger.
By late March, we were ready to call this perhaps the earliest season ever. By mid April, we were ready to declare this perhaps the driest year on record. But now, in early May, it's cold, its wet and, well things are a bit behind and a bit soggy. Just goes to show you that anyone who says they know what the weather is going to do this year, or this month, or even next week, is just making stuff up. I prefer to just play the hand I'm dealt. And see how that goes.
This week, that hand was wet. But it was pretty much a royal flush. After weeks of field prep - compost spreading, plowing, bed making - we were ready to put some plants in the ground. And when a plant goes from the comfort of the greenhouse to variability of the field what it really wants is a nice cloudy day. Warm is better than cold, but wet is better than dry. Cool and wet will be just fine. So when we saw those cloudy icons on the weather forecast, we just put the field planting wheels in motion. First we planted the cucumbers and basil in the field houses. Then we moved to the lettuce and the swiss chard over at Snyder farm. Then the scallions, fennel, and radicchio in the west field. When all of those plants were tucked into nice wet beds, we moved to the early tomatoes. These we planted on black plastic (to heat up the soil) and covered them with polyester row covers to tuck them in for the night (and the next two weeks).
We were tired and soggy by the time it was over, but we couldn't have asked for a better week. And now, as usual, since we know for sure that there can be way too much of a good thing, we hope for a change. It's time to stop raining for a few days. Dry up the ground so we can plow some more. And make more beds. So that we can turn the planting wheel around and get going again. Here's hoping!
Looking forward to a great season ahead
Dan (for Karen, Abbe, Zoe, John, Rebecca, and Sunny)