Thursday and Friday were all about planting. In market and CSA farming you do what's called "succession farming." It's when you plant rounds of plants so you can harvest them at different times. This was the second succession of the season. We planted seven, 200 foot rows of lettuces with four varieties per row. That's a lot of greens...Radicchio, Red Fire, Oscarde, Endive, Optima Summer Crisp, etc... You get quite a system down making the process efficient and automated. You work in teams...two people drop the starters in the pre-spaced holes on either side of the row and a crew follows behind planting them in the ground with a trowel. The attached picture is of Hillary, one of the culinary students on the farm this week, who was getting to plant her first plant ever!! Such a cool experience for her and for us. Having the four CSR students made the planting feel like a Ford Motor assembly line. We were cranking through the trays of starters but talking and laughing as we moved down the row staying focused at the same time. Sometimes you have to pinch off the root bound bottom of the starter or prune the bad leaves., toss ones whose soil is dry and make sure to get the plant deep enough but not too deep. It's like putting a baby to bed. You lovingly place them in their nest and tuck them in. The conversations we have as team would be enough for one blog alone telling stories, sharing news and trying to solve the worlds problems. You not only learn a lot from each other but you really get a sense of community as we work together to bring food to the table.
Here is a link to a video of Pete plowing the furrows of the tomato fields.We aren't planning to use the work horses for all the fields but we hope to integrate them as much as possible and it ties us back to the time honored tradition of working the land. As you will see, it is a lot of work. Gives you a lot more respect for folks like Charles "Pa" Ingalls. Eventually, the plow driver will be able to drive and lead at the same time but since Pete is still in training, we have Becky guiding him.