From the Fields - Thaddeus
It is the middle of summer planting, and the beginning of the fall planting schedule. The white board in my office with a “chickenscratch” to-do list is growing faster than items can be crossed out. First thing in the morning, I find myself by the creek, marking out a small, buried main line and putting flags where the risers can go so that Ricardo can get the irrigation system installed. This irrigation system has nothing to do with growing the crops; it didn’t even make it onto my to-do list, but it has been nagging at me for over a month. The ground is sandy. It runs along the creek and for the past years, we have been fighting noxious weeds. The only permanent solution is to get the area established with good plants – native grasses, shrubs and trees.
Those native grasses, shrubs and trees have been sitting by the office for over a month, approaching two months. In the winter, when things were slow and the most important thing on my list was rehabilitating that wild area by the creek, I put an order in for the plants. I put them next to the office so I wouldn’t forget about them. Days stacked to weeks that rolled into months, and the plants were still there. The final straw was when I went to pick up a tray of deer grass to examine it, and it was stuck to the ground. Its roots had grown through the plastic cells, past the gravel and firmly embedded themselves into the soil. Yup, time to get these in the ground before it really is too hot.
The wild area is one of my favorite places on the farm. In it live the community of flora and fauna that have always been dear to my heart. It is in this location, where the creek flows and old cottonwoods grow tall that I am reminded of our farm’s responsibility to foster a diverse ecosystem. It is the acre oak preserve with trees a few feet tall where I learned the valuable lesson to never ever plant native plants until a drip irrigation system is set up. As I wandered around, laying out the system, imagining how great this will be in a few years, I had to chuckle about myself and how well I know myself. In the spring, when I ordered those plants, I knew I was overloading the early summer – I did it anyway.
Check out the progress on my Instagram (@farmerthaddeus) and while you are there follow our company’s Farm Fresh To You account (@farmfreshtoyou).