Monday, April 20, 2009

Potatoes, scallions, beets, spinach, carrots...

Today we did some more…potato planting. One’s first week on a new job is by definition going to be a series of brand new tasks, with little opportunity to get bored or tired. But of course many of our tasks we will do over and over again. Seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting…these chores will occupy much of our time this season. Of course, with all the different kinds of vegetables we grow, the process is a little different for each one. However, with onions and potatoes, which take some time to grow and that are all planted around the same time (instead of in succession), it becomes a pretty big project to get them all in the ground over the course of a week or two.

It sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m not. Or not much. It wasn’t a thrill a minute, but I find myself kind of interested in the learning process, even with fairly basic, repetitive tasks. The way I slowly figured out the best rhythm for pushing the potato into the ground and following with a sweep of the other hand to cover with soil. Figuring that when dropping potatoes into the furrows I can stand and drop instead of bending over, and that I have better accuracy if I sort of toss them with a bit of overhand instead of just letting them roll out of my hand. Or when watering the greenhouse, how much more efficient it is to start at one end instead of the other, and to use the spray adjustment to reach more trays from one location instead of moving all over the place. Simple things, but finding little ways to do things more efficiently or better makes the time go quicker and keeps me mindful of my task. The key is to stop and think for a minute or so when something about what you’re doing is irritating you; often just a bit of thought will provide you with a solution.

I got up on the tractor again today, the G, to seed more spinach, carrots (tiny little seeds), and beets, that fancy Italian candy-striped variety called chioggia. That was fun, and after that I went over to join the group of folks transplanting scallions. For this, we had trays of scallions that had got their start in the greenhouse and were in small bunches maybe 6 inches high or so. A tractor had gone over the beds, putting small dimples into the soil. We would remove a plug of scallions from a tray and push it into the dimple and then cover with soil. I found myself a little excited by this, for the simple reason that I really like scallions. In salads, eggs, and stir-fries especially. I think my favorite flavor of omelet is with mushrooms, scallions and swiss cheese.

Anyway, so begins week two of my new life on the farm. Tomorrow I believe we are supposed to get some rain, and as I write this the skies are darkening and the wind is picking up.

So long!

1 comment:

Nikki said...

Parenting is also full of repetitive tasks - your advice about stopping at moments of irritation and thinking of a solution applies to my daily world too!

Think we got your rain today - brrrr. I keep putting away the hats and gloves and then pulling them out of the closet!