We got one more hay field cut and baled this week. This round only got rained on one half inch. Our entire definition of what a hay window looks like has changed in the last couple of months. Generally you want to make sure there is no rain whatsoever in the forecast for at least three days—the amount of time it takes to cut and wait for the hay to dry down before baling it. After cutting we always tentatively watch the sky, looking for any signs that some passing shower might sneak up on you and get your hay wet. At this point, if there is a 30% or less chance of rain forecast we just go for it (and yes, we always get the rain). The hay is so far passed by now, it should have been cut in early June, that the quality is already compromised. In February even bad hay is tastier than no hay after all. Also, we need to get this round of hay off of the fields in the hopes that we get a good second cutting. Maybe this weather will turn around yet, and we’ll have some beautiful dry stretches to make some killer second cut.
Luckily we did bring in some nice dry wheat berries Wednesday evening despite the dark, rumbling clouds passing overhead. Ethan French brought his combine over and got the acre done in no time. Unfortunately the trailer of wheat is parked in the csa room today while it awaits cleaning. It makes for a tight squeeze in there but it’s the driest, most rodent free parking spot on the farm, so the wheat wins out. James took the attached photo of Ethan in the combine, a huge tank of a machine, but a marvel of mechanized farming. It turns days of labor into a short bit of tidy work, ending with a trailer full of beautifully golden little seeds and almost no waste mixed in.
We had a good crew out yesterday morning to work on hand-weeding the field. We’re still playing catch up with all that rain and trying to get a handle on the weeds that we couldn’t control when it was too wet to cultivate. I bet we’re three quarters of the way through the field now (if you take out the rows of early crops that we are currently harvesting and can just disc right under shortly!). We are sorely in need of hand-weeders though, if you have any time to help out we would love it, even as little as an hour of work makes a huge amount of progress. My ever-expanding pregnant belly does not care much for the task and is looking forward to getting the job done as soon as possible.
In the Farm Shares
In the veggie share: Cucumbers, zucchini, chard, basil, sweet summer onion, scallions, broccoli shoots (just break the stems where they are tender, and use head, leaves and stalk), green cabbage, kale, carrots, beets, lettuce heads, mesclun mix, wheat berries, whole wheat regular and pastry flour, cornmeal.
In the meat share: All cuts of beef, pork, broilers and stew birds in the freezer. Beef stock, chicken organs, lard and leaf lard are available.