To The Pipes!!

By Monday it was dry. Very dry. Yes, we had gotten some rain the week before - but the cumulative effect of hot and generally dry weather had left some fields looking wilty and dusty. Even though the forecast was for possible rain on Thursday, we needed to take a break from the rest of the garlic harvest; it was time to make it rain.

We have a number of irrigation systems that we use - drip, overhead solid set, and the traveling reel. Each system takes some work to get it going each season and then some figuring (and luck) to keep it running. So we decided to start with the biggest need and go from there --- no question, last week's newly planted brassicas and the big kale field over in the dry fields of Snyder Farm.

So, with our apprentices off on a farm visit, Ellen went to the west field storage, hitched the big reel to the John Deere and brought it to the field. First we needed to test the big pump (first time all season!). Water flowing. Check. Then attach the trunk line - to get the water from the pump to the field - about 400' away. Piece by piece, past the horse paddock, around the poison ivy patch, and to the reel, now sitting on the edge of the thirsty broccoli & cauliflower field. Check. Attach the sprinkler to the tractor and pull it the length of the field (450'). Check. And now the moment of truth - start the pump, there goes the water, and .... and ...... pcchhewow! There's the water - shooting out the sprinkler (called the "gun" because it really does look like an Ouzi, and because it literally "shoots" water 50' in each direction. And now, by some magic, the sprinkler goes round and round, and retracts through the field, back to the reel, so that after about 5 hours of this, one acre is watered. Success!!

We kept some variation of this going for the next few days, and then, on Wednesday, without any real warning, the sky opened up to drop an inch of water from the sky, setting us up for our 2nd-to-last big planting of the season. And just like that, we were set up for the big heat coming our way this weekend and getting back to the garlic harvest. This train keeps on rolling!!

We hope you enjoy the harvest,

Your Farmer,
Dan
(for Karen, Abbe, Ellen, Ben, Lia, Marlee, and Will)