Monday, March 23, 2015

plan b

Farming demands a great deal of flexibility. It's always good to be ready with a Plan B (or at least able to come up with one on short notice). Like today, when I arrived at the farm, all ready to prep beds for today's carrot seeding. This is how I found the beds:


Hmm, I thought, this doesn't look like a place a carrot would want to sprout. And with lots more rain in the forecast, it didn't seem like it would be getting better soon. But I was already more than a week behind on the seeding schedule! Luckily, there was one extra bed down by the onion section that didn't look quite as much like a wetland. So that is where the carrots will go.

I went to several inspiring farming workshops in the past month, and at one of them I learned a very simple way to mark beds for planting. You take a basic aluminum landscaping rake like this:

Then you pop some little plastic extensions over some of the tines (at the spacing you want to do your planting) and drag the rake lengthwise down the bed. Voila! You have your lines for planting. Well, I don't have those neat-o plastic extensions, but I do have the rake, so I thought I would just improvise. Borrowing a few spoons from home and a roll of duct tape, I made my own tine extensions.



It actually worked fairly well. This is how the carrot bed looked when I was finished:

As you can see, it's only as good as the operator. But straight lines are overrated, right?
Unfortunately, I bent one of the tines on my brand new rake. Also, attaching spoons to my rake with duct tape every time I want to mark some beds is not a very efficient use of time. So I decided to extend the life of my rake (not to mention my silverware) and order some of those fancy-pants plastic extensions. For about $6, they seemed worth it.

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