“Muddy is the big word of the week. We got an astounding 7” of rain in the last 14 days. Every time we hit a stretch of weather like this, we shout thank you to our fifty drained acres. Before drainage, most of the crops out there would be dead, taking all the work we’ve put in to this point with them. With drainage, they are thriving. The cucurbits are growing like crazy. The shell peas are blooming. Tomatoes have never looked better. The wonderful planting of flowers, in Mailbox Field, is beginning to give us a little color. The field corn is up and gaining momentum. Away from the drained fields, the ground is far too wet to work, and will likely remain that way for several more days.
Which leads to our second big word of the week. Pivot! As in, it’s too late to plant soybeans this year, so we’re pivoting to annual forage for pigs. Linguistically, I am not sure I approve, but I am all for the concept. As soon as we can get into the fields that are already prepared for soy, we’ll plant a fast-growing mix of corn, turnip, pea, oat and radish. Then we will turn the pigs onto it for the last part of the summer and into the fall. That should help reduce the grain bill, and because they will harvest it themselves, it will also reduce labor costs, and should produce some delicious and healthy pork, too….” Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.