Week Twenty-One – Learning Weeds ( & Pulling Them )

By May 20, 2015February 29th, 2016farm journal

PART ONE : In which so much water falls from the sky!

Week Nineteen : Field Trip!

We took Callan with us to help our neighbor Lauren at her place, In the Weeds. She has what looks to me like an inspiring, humbling, beautiful abundant operation going on. And she of course thinks the same when she visits other farms. So I had to take a moment to be grateful for what we have and remember that we’re always growing. And it will be so gratifying to look back and how much we’ve done.

We helped her build a pyramid of cinderblocks and palettes to shelve her many many trays of starts in her hoop house, planted some kale starts, and harvested some lettuce and spinach. I was pretty intrigued by her magical drip-line-end-wrap technique she learned at Chispas and her beautiful soil-blocked trays of happy starts.

Week Twenty : Mulch makes everything better.

The kale in the orchard was finally big enough to mulch around it without getting covered, so we pulled a million weeds in the mud and spread the mulch around and suddenly it’s transformed into a beautiful, lush, neat little space.

We started a few new trays of flowers and transplanted the lettuce, spinach and cabbage from tiny seedling trays into little pots so they can survive until we’re ready with the new rows in the garden expansion quadrant in the northwest corner.

All our rain has been waking up the lavender, which is slowly starting to look reassuring and less dead and scary. I’m concerned we’re erring on the side of too little water. We’ll see how it progresses over the next few weeks.

Saturday we braved the market in the wind and rain and hardly made any money but felt assured that being there and establishing our presence is going to build tremendous value throughout the season.

Week Twenty-One : Garden Expansion

Callan and I planted scarlet runner beans along the fence and started digging rows for the newest area of the garden under the big cottonwoods. We’re going to try Tiana’s suggestion of building furrows but planting in the bottoms and letting the raised areas be the walkways. That soil looks much healthier and I’m excited to see how things do!

I’m also on a mission to learn all our weeds and am being stumped by several. There’s one that looks similar to Oregano but with pointier leaves that I can’t seem to figure out, and one that puts up flowers that look just like dandelions gone to seed, but they never go though the flowery part. I am determined to find out what they are!

Update: the dandelion-ish one is Salsify and it does have a short-lived bright, almost neon flower. And supposedly you can eat the roots, but I agree with Kemper’s assessment that they taste like poison, not oysters.