Tractor Guy

I love our CSA drop off, watching everybody explore and get excited about the vegetables. Recipes are swapped while filling up the bags and baskets, children bounce around and laughter abounds. Even though I’d like to be there, the magnetic pull of the farm keeps me here.

Potato harvest had to happen, as hot, wet soil can cause them to spoil. Now that they’re in the cellar we can breathe a bit, but we’ll use the afternoons to continue sorting them. My role is to plant more for later.

After rebreaking the potato field, furrows were made as another storm threatened. A local feed store gave me a 15 lb sack of old October beans, which I inoculated with rhizobium bacteria. This insures the presence of nitrogen-fixing microbes.

I quickly moved up and down the rows, grabbing a fistful of seeds and sprinkling them. I covered them up with the harrow at dusk, and the rain held off until I was safely on the porch. The July thunderstorms have been intense, with vibrating light shows and intense downpours. What I’m going to do with an acre of shelly beans remains to be seen, but the barefoot farmer CSA will surely help.

In truck farming the land must never be left to itself, to grow up with weeds. As soon as a crop is out, another one goes in. We have to take advantage of all the work and compost, so its always one thing after another.

The old pea patch is now beds of lettuce, chinese cabbage and broccoli, which will get transplanted into the old cucumber and bean field. The old beet land is sprouting up fall cucumbers and beans, and a nearby row of cantaloupe is where we had grown spring onions.

Since I’m the tractor guy, the farm likes me to be here. Plowing, mowing and cultivating, often can not wait a day. We can easily lose a crop to weeds, or hay can spoil, if the tractor guy is gone for a day. My mother said my first word was not “mom”, but “tractor”.

Today I’ll be bush hogging the wonderful corn patch, plowing the other two potato fields, and cultivating the fall plantings. We may move the cows to a new meadow, pull weeds in the celery and chard, and mulch the peppers. I suspect some hoeing will happen, too.

But I assure you there will also be time spent in the swimming hole, fooling around in the kitchen, and sitting on the porch visiting with friends and neighbors. Scribbling these lines on this fine morning, I really don’t know exactly what the day will bring. There are rumors of a blue moon party later, and we never know who will ease up the driveway. We hope it’s you.

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