Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Sunday, February 27, 2005


The rains came late, after dark, when I was inside and sautéing some chicken and some broccoli. But that was alright – the fields were already torn up, disked so that last years grass tufts were torn up and upside down and sliced to pieces and able to harm me no more.

There are narrow windows of opportunity this time of year – you get one day to plow in January, maybe, and if your tractor has a flat tire you’re out of luck. You get another day in February, maybe two, and you’d better not miss it because it will surely rain that night, when you’re sautéing some chicken and some broccoli. It starts to dry out a bit toward the end of March – the days are longer and a bit warmer and the fields are dry maybe three days after it rains instead of seven. But the grass is more tenacious then, what with the days being longer and a bit warmer …. You’ve got to slice the stuff up now, slice it to pieces and let it rot. Let it warm up and come back to life and it’ll get the better of you, every time.

I’m talking about the fall beds – where I had cabbage and brussel sprouts, and didn’t put in a cover crop. The beds got a little weedy toward the end of the season, but the frost killed them down. It’s the grass that’s a problem. They become solid little tufts with matted roots, and they stop a hoe in its tracks. But not if you disk the living hell out of them in February.

The rain’s coming down now – I can hear it drip off the roof and bounce off all the debris in the front yard – and I don’t care. I disked.

The rest of the fields are in rye, or clover/rye. On a dry day in March I’ll plow an area for potatoes and peas, and toward the end of March plow the whole Spring field, and plant lettuce and cabbage and broccoli and etc.
The summer fields have the clover in them now – by early May, the clover will be waist high and ready to be cut down. That field will be plowed and planted in tomatoes, squash, beans and etc.

Sometime in July the rain will stop. The water – so much in abundance now, making the road slick and making a muddy mess in front of the wood shed and always getting my socks wet – will shut itself off and the fields will dry out and raise a dust cloud when I disk. And I’ll hope the irrigation pump keeps working and I’ll pray for rain.
But all that seems a universe away right now. I sat on the tractor today wearing insulated overalls and two sweaters. I kept an eye toward the sky, guessing at when the rains would come. Damn near got the tractor stuck in the mud down near the chicken coop. Had to plow a drainage canal toward the end of the driveway to keep things from getting too soggy. February’s like that. It’s cloudy more than it’s sunny. It’s muddy, not dusty. When it rains, you’re out of the fields for at least a week, so when it does dry out, you’d better have your shit together.


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