Tomatoes in February?
Here is the list
broccoli greens “they look like a bunch of collard greens”
handful of snap peas
red and white potatoes
bunch of arugula
bunch of cilantro
red bell pepper
As some of you know, we have been experimenting with facilitating team building experiences for employee groups. Our most recent group came out in late December. Basically, they payed us for the opportunity to come out and get a 2 hour total immersion course in hands on farming. Everything went off without a hitch. Employees were stoked And the company was more than pleased overall. Part of the added value of the experience was that we would give them a periodic update on the crop they worked so hard to plant.
Here is a copy of the most recent update that I sent last week. Let’s just say that they got a little more of the taste of the realities of farming than I had comprehended might happened. Anyway, here is what I told em. ‘Chuckle’
Dear Digital Telepathy Team,
After a couple weeks, baby snap peas started to pop up. From past experience, I have seen that field mice can do a lot of damage to a row of freshly germinated snap peas. They seem to like the real tender seedlings.
In anticipation of a possible rodent attack, myself, Jade and Nate cut lengths of floating row covering for every bed we planted or seeded. The row covering is a super strong, light, breathable cloth that lets 85% of sunlight in. By taking the time to bury the outside edges of the cloth around each bed, we were able to create an effective deterrent against those nibbling little buggers.
All went well for a few weeks. The little plants got big enough to withstand some nibbling by mice and yet not get decimated. So we decided to take the covers off. The plants were all about 8 inches to a foot high. They were looking great. I was so excited for the Digital Telepathy group, because tomorrow, I was going to take images of the wonderful progress our babies were making.
The next afternoon, myself and Toby went out to take some pictures and do some staking for the trellis. We found every plant devoured and gone. Two squirrels were still in the garden. They panicked as if it seemed like they forget how they had gotten in.
Toby jumped the fence and started shouting and chasing. Not sure what he thought he was going to do if he caught one. I just got on one knee and took a deep breath. I have been here a thousand times. Deep breath in…gratitude, gratitude, gratitude….deep breath out….. let it aaaalllll goooooo. You would think I would be used to this. Or callous. Upsets of nature like this. They really are quite common. I have actually become more sensitive though. But I have also learned to immediately disturb my first inclination, which is to go into shock, anger, helplessness, self pity, scarcity etc… and go right into grattitude. Grateful to be alive and healthy. Move from the micro to the macro. Look at the farm as a whole. Look at all the life and abundance and everything that is going right.
Then I also remember that our original plan was to plant three successive crops of snap peas. Which we did. That way, if we lose a garden, or even two, at least we do not go completely without snap peas. The CSA is actually eating some of the first planting this week. We always plant insurance crops. You never know what is going to happen.
The squirrels were a freak thing. Number one, they are usually hibernating right now. But it has been so warm this winter that they have been active. Also, squirrels usually get all their water from their food. Well, since there has been zero rain this winter, the only green tender stuff is where we are irrigating. Normally, they would have probably left the peas alone and would have eaten from the sea of green fields in and around the orchards. This year, because of lack of rain, those green fields are non existent.
Most important thing to everyone who worked on the farm that day…. Don’t Feel Bad. There are hundreds of ways for crops not to make it to harvest. This is just one of them. Your work was important and it mattered. The most important thing to take away is that farming is all about input and output. All input is important. There is no determining which particular input is going to pay off. That is why it is all important and it all matters. At first, I wished that things could have turned out a little different. Especially for every ones first time out. Now, I feel like it must be appropriate considering that this was what we manifested. So with that all said…..
Welcome To Farming. You Guys Are Awesome.
Well, they took it way better than I expected. Phew!! Actually, most of the comments I got back were about the cute squirrel picture. So there you go.