This Week on the Farm 7/2
No rain this past week. Any chance of rain this week was taken out of the forecast last night. This afternoon, as I was hauling the watering rig out to the far field, I got a flat tire on the trailer. Thankfully the local mechanic had a couple of old airplane tires he could sell us. Airplane tires have a very high weight capacity, which is great since water is very heavy.
We had been planning on buying new tires next year. But with all of the wear and tear on the tires with the additional amount of irrigation we have been doing, the tires just couldn’t make it through the season. We had been planning on buying implement tires, but actually, old airplane tires have a higher weight capacity than implement tires. According to the local mechanic, they should last us a lifetime!
Tyler has to first empty the bulk tank on the trailer before he can change the tire. Thankfully the tire blew while I was next to the potato field and not while I was on the road. Unfortunately, I got a flat on the wrong side of the field, so he is going to have to switch all of the hoses around to be able to reach the tank. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, as they say.
This morning we worked on hilling the potatoes, but with all of the heat we had to call our work session off early. We have only five or six more rows to go (out of about 55). Hopefully by the end of the week we will have some time to finish hilling the potatoes.
I dug up a couple of potato plants this weekend to see how the yield was looking. With the combo platter of no rain and high insect pressure due to our warm winter, it looks like yield is going to be fairly low. However, I did dig up plants that had been completely skeletonized by Colorado Potato beetles, so my impression may be skewed. Thankfully we planted a lot of potatoes this year, and that will in part make up for a poorer than average yield.
The beans are looking fantastic. The Italian flat bean plants have baby beans on the plants and all of the varieties are flowering heavily. Unlike peas, beans like the heat. We planted a lot more beans this year than last, so we may have beans coming out of our ears. Be prepared!
The carrots are still looking great. I have been working on weeding the parsnips that are right next to the carrots. They are really overgrown right now and normally we would probably have given up on them by now. With all of the hot, dry weather, we are trying to save anything that is possible to save. Which means, parsnip weeding in the evenings.
Tyler and his brother went up to Oshkosh last Friday to pick up a reconditioned walk-in-cooler. Having the cooler will allow us to pick things like beans, peas, patty pan squash when they are young and tender. Right now we have to wait until delivery days to harvest because we have no way of storing the veggies. This often means that the veggies are a little bigger than the optimal size. Now we just need time to clear out the basement of the west barn, build a floor, lay the electrical, and put the cooler together. Not a small list of tasks when added to our daily list of chores!
We are very pleased with the boxes that have been going out so far. Given that this was the driest June on record, we feel like things are going pretty well. We definitely feel like we can handle anything after all we have been through this season so far!
We are holding a volunteer session Saturday, July 14th from 8am-12N. If you are able to stop by and lend a hand that would be absolutely splendiferous! Let us know by July 13 if you can stop by so we make sure we have enough refreshments to go around!