Monday, May 26, 2014

Rain, glorious rain!

With seeding about 1/2 complete I was getting nervous about the lack of rain in our area. It was dry...very dry. While that made the seeding operations steam along, it did nothing for my anxiety over whether we would get to harvest anything that we were busy seeding. 

With organic farming, the weather and timing are absolutely critical. A good, quick germination immediately after a light tillage means that the crops will get ahead of any possible weed infestation. It is all about competition for resources at ground level. Seed the wheat too early or when it is too dry and it sits in the ground waiting while all around it existing weed sprouts happily push to the sky soaking up the snow's valuable moisture. At times, it is a very complicated process for me. I am glued to the computer monitor watching the latest radar tracking timing the seeding process as precisely as I can. 

This year has been especially crucial as there simply has been no moisture to contend with at all. Luckily, we had a fairly good snow pack and our clay loam soils have retained a lot of moisture. The seeds that were sown earlier are now starting to show themselves. First up is Buckwheat!

This Buckwheat was seeded about a week ago. It is only intended as a plow-down so it was sown earlier than Buckwheat normally would. Buckwheat is a short-season crop, maturing in as little as 90 days under ideal conditions. Normally, I would till the fields from time to time getting rid of the weeds until early June and then seed the Buckwheat that would then be harvested in October. 

Finally, the rain came today! After days of rain all around us I was ready for a psychiatrist. Overnight last night, we had some moisture. Off and on all day today we've had good periods of rain. This will go a long way towards germinating the wheat and flax that have also been seeded.

Nothing stresses me more than a drought...