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One for the Rook

Posted 4/28/2017 6:45am by John Eisenstein.

 As you can imagine, now that spring is here our sleepy little farm is transformed into a hotbed of activity with preparing the fields for planting, planting itself, finishing up winter projects that I put off a little too long, and so on.  Here are some peas just pushing up through the ground:

Peas are always uncertain in the spring due to the possibility of the seeds rotting in the ground, being eaten by birds, or, worst of all, attacked by the dreaded pea seed maggot.  This is reflected in the Medieval English pea planter's rhyme, as follows:

One for the rook

One for the crow

One to rot

And one for the dreaded pea seed maggot.

Which, in a bad year, doesn't leave too many for us. Our first two plantings of peas did well enough, but the third was almost completely destroyed by maggots.  So, I replanted in another part of the farm, and didn't tell the maggots.  Don't anybody tell the maggots!

And here are some spring onions just starting to send out shoots:

And those same peas and onions 2 weeks later (April 28th)

Quite a difference!

And here is a nice cover crop of rye and vetch, taken two weeks ago:

We just mowed it, in preparation for incorporating it into the soil, where the biomass from the rye and nitrogen fixed by the vetch will feed the crop and give us the second best pepper harvest ever!

Not that everything here is work work work.  Especially the younger generation finds time for a little fun and relaxation.  Here is a picture of my nephew Matthew and daughter Evelyn weaving a hammock out of used irrigation drip lines:

Waste not, want not!


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