In other news...Yesterday I learned that hoeing has a dual purpose. Seems like most things do on the farm. Today, I learned that plastic tarps aren't just for keeping weeds out but for also helping to generate heat for hot crops like melons, cucumbers and tomatoes. The tarps you see covering fields is there to generate heat while also keeping the soil moist. Pretty nifty! But then you have to sprinkle dirt around the base of the cucumber or melon plant so the leaves don't touch the plastic. The plastic can get really hot obviously and can scorch the delicate leaves. You can't just throw the dirt on there though, you have to carefully distribute the dirt so the base of the plant is free to breathe but no plastic is showing within a foot of the base. There is a lot of precision in farming. The melons and cucs we were planting were trials meaning we were only planting two or three of each variety in order to see which one does best in this climate. The winners will get to come back next year and have a whole crop of its own (Abbondonza is a seed farm too but I'll cover all that in a different blog post - even cooler stuff).