Our Halloween weekend at Tubby Creek
So what have we been up to lately? In addition to keeping you up to date on all our goings on, this blog also serves as a farm journal for myself and Randy, so we have a record of what we did and when.
This is positively the best time of year for working outdoors. We were really hoping the cover crops seeds would come in before our weekend trip down to the farm, but of course they didn't. But our soil test results were in the mailbox when we got there!
Saturday afternoon I raked out beds for garlic while Randy weeded carrots. The air was warm but the ground was cool. I took off my shoes and worked barefooted.
That night was cold. It was hard to pull ourselves out of from under the covers into the cold air in the trailer the next morning. Outside a heavy frost blanketed the ground.
Speaking of early mornings, does anyone have a hot plate or electric tea pot they'd like to loan/give us? I've been driving into Ashland to get gas station coffee in the mornings - a poor substitute to what we are used to.
We spent Sunday morning raking out the beds for the tomatoes in the big field and breaking up garlic to plant, once the sun was up the air warmed quickly. We fantasized about where our NRCS funded hoop house and cotton hull compost pile would go.
That afternoon I planted the garlic with a teaspoon of the chicken compost that I got from Van Cheeseman in each hole. We planted three varieties - Inchelium Red and Early Italian Purple from seed garlic that I had saved, and one identified as "California" from Mr. Yang at the South Memphis Farmers Market. Randy and I mulched them thickly with straw. Even though the ground was still damp from rain, we watered the greens (mustard, turnips, chard, and spinach) that we had seeded last week.
Jestel's son Randy was around, so my Randy went to talk with him about using his box blade to scrape a spot for our greenhouse. He was taking the tractor back home for a halloween hayride, but said he'd be back in a couple weeks. Jestel also gave us a big bag of tomatoes that she had pulled off the plants in anticipation of freezing nights.
We managed to head back to Memphis before dark, giving us a more relaxing weekend before being thrust again into the work week. Our seeds came on Monday, so right after work we went back to the farm, stopping to pick up bone meal on the way (our soil test revealed a lack of phosphorus, which is very important for tomato plants).
The light was leaving the sky as we arrived on Monday evening. Driving by we saw someone at the cotton gin, so stopped by and got the go ahead to take all the cotton hulls we want. Now all we have to do is find someone who'll haul them over to our place for us.
I set to applying bone meal (about 5 lbs per 20 foot bed) while Randy rolled out and hooked up the hose. We mixed 5 lbs inoculated hairy vetch with 10 lbs winter ryegrain seed and spread that evenly over 11 100 foot rows.
We got the sprinkler going and drank a beer under a slender moon listening to animal noises in the trees and the sound of the water, trying to remember anything we ever knew about the constellations. The night was perfectly clear. It would have been very romantic if we weren't both so cold and tired. As things were, it was moderately romantic.
This morning we were up early to finish the watering and then head back to Memphis in time for work. Until next weekend!