Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rain & Crops

As I posted last week, rain is on my mind. Over the past 7 days we've had 3.62 inches of rain. That's a lot. The good news is that I think the potatoes are OK. I dug up a few two days ago and they are growing. The leaves are just below the soil's surface so hopefully they'll pop up soon. The bad news is that there's some flooding in the west garden.

On Tuesday, instead of watching the pond rise, I packed up the children and went to IKEA. I love that store for the design aspect of the furniture. I'm always trying to make too much stuff fit into a certain space so, space-saving designs are very appealing. Anyway, on the way, I watched the water. The fields which were freshly planted - parts of which were under water. The businesses with drainage ditches in front - some flowing, some not. But the new developments - they had well-sloping drainage ditches, with nice culverts directing the flow, all down hill, one after another for a good 1/2 mile, across a few older homes, all to a low spot where an older cape code sits. The house is back from the road and, at the time, the water hadn't reached the foundation but I think the owners probably needed a canoe to get to the front door.

So now here we sit - water rising even though the rain has stopped. While I want to do everything I can to protect our crops, I don't want to make my problem someone else's by pumping it out to the ditch. So I decided to move some of the water around on our property. This morning I went out and bought a sump pump and some 1" PVC and I'm now pumping the water out to the orchard. Hopefully, a good amount will sink in and the trees will take it up. Some will wind its way slowly out to the ditch. A quasi rain garden, I guess. When the level is down enough so that the newly planted spinach, cabbage and chard is no longer under water, I'll stop the pump and let the rest of the water seep in naturally.
The hoop house is rocking. I'm really happy that we took the time to trench the sides, add the drain tile and back fill with stone. Drainage is working and, to date, we haven't had any problems with excessive water in the hoop.
Can you see the tomato buds forming?

Of course, the goats don't mind the rain at all. They're happy to be out in the tall grass. Dave and I finally finished sectioning off part of the front pasture and hooking up the electric fence so that the goats could move out of the middle paddock. So watch out - the fence is back on. Make sure you ask which sections are hot. If you touch a live fence, it will hurt but you shouldn't be seriously injured. Still, it's not fun to be zapped.
And that reminds me - Saturday I was opening up the hoop and the pole (which I tell everyone to avoid) came back and bopped me in the forehead. So, 3 sub stitches and 7 top stitches later, I now have a Potter-ish look. FYI.

I still need to work on the share partner matches. With the weather as it has been, I'm tending to think that distributions will begin the first week in June instead of the last week of May. If things heat up, I might keep to the end of May but I'll let you all know.


Victoria said...


Love the commentary. I am a new shareholder and I'm very excited to be a part of your CSA. Sorry to hear about your forehead. Good thing all things "Harry Potter" are stylish!
Looking forward to meeting you.

Angela Madaras said...

hey.....your forehead is healing really fast !!! any scar is fashionable from where i stand..............6 joint replacements later, i relish in the stares i get when i bare them in a bathing suite.

we are lucky we do not live in sad. grand ole opry buried under water and goop.we are truly blessed as our property did not flood like last years hard rains.still we are so behind in planting it is not even funny. nature has it's own plan i suppose.

Marnie aka Magill said...

Hope the gardens are enjoying the sunshine. Yesterday was delicious, so is today, and tomorrow's looking good too. Grow vegetables grow!

Unknown said...

The water is receding and the plants still seem fine. I'm not sure about the seeds but they can always be re-planted. It's not like losing the transplants that are between 8 - 10 weeks along! And the rest of the plants in the ground - you'd be surprised what a little sunshine can do to help with growth! Will post pictures again next week.

Marnie aka Magill said...

great sunshine and heat today!!! sending good thoughts to all the greens!