Saturday, May 21, 2011

Toukokuu - The Planting Month

The moon I have been waiting for all winter has arrived.

The long evenings of summer arrive in May, well ahead of the heat of summer. Unless it is raining I rarely go inside until well after sunset. There is more than enough time to spend indoors during the winter.

This year I seem to have created an unusual amount of work for myself however. In some ways I'm just like a plant. The trees and grass are putting on a growth spurt with all the energy they have hoarded in their roots over the winter. Likewise, once the snow is gone and days are long, I am energized to take on all the projects that I have been thinking about all winter. Suddenly there is a demand to get moving and get going. That is probably the reason I have never gotten into spring steelhead fishing. But come fall, when the days are shortening and the summer's work is mostly behind me, I can spend hours and hours casting for steelhead at Lake Superior. It's good that we have have both spring and fall.

David nailing a rafter onto the sheepfold. My plan is to nail 2x4 purlins across these on 2 foot centers and put on a metal roof. What is there about asphalt shingles that they have lost their attraction to me? Weight, work, time and pain, that's all.

Yes, I could have sheathed these walls before raising them, but I decided to do the labor intensive part early and the costlier part later.

Planting 50# of seed potatoes.

You can stretch your potatoes by cutting them in pieces.

A field cultivator behind a tractor fluffs up the soil and creates small furrows, which makes planting potatoes ridiculously simple. Just toss the spud into the furrow and rake the soil over it.

Marja covered them up with a pronged hoe. If we decide to plant larger quantities in the future I think I'll make a drag to pull behind the tractor to automate the job. Machines are good servants but bad masters. Our industrial, vertically integrated agricultural system has largely turned farmers into commodity producers dependent on large corporations for all their inputs.

That would probably dramatically change if growers were allowed to butcher and sell their own animals, sell milk directly, etc. Of course that would mean that consumers would have to take responsibility for what they choose to eat or drink.

Our vinyard, six grape vines. Hoping that they are truly frost hardy to zone 4 like the sales lady said they were.

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