Our kale field had been fighting off an aphid infestation and Mother Nature gave us an assist – the aphids were completely washed away after our most recent storm. Normally, we would have to treat the leaves ourselves, so this saved us quite a bit of work.
We had to delay our carrot harvest by a few days. The field was so muddy it was too difficult to get a tractor near, and it would have been nearly like quicksand for harvest workers. We were finally able to approach the field, but digging through the mud to pluck out our orange gems was much more labor intensive than usual. We have washed them well for your boxes, but if you see some extra dirt, now you know why.
Our farm manager told me that the cooler weather may delay our beet crop, but we are still on track for our spring planting schedule provided we don’t get any more rain. A wet January is one thing, but if it rains all February, we will have to adjust.
It’s funny how we can turn from aching for rain, panicking that we won’t have enough water to worrying that we will have too much. But that it what farming is all about – remaining flexible and figuring out workarounds for the cards that nature deals us. Growing up on the farm, I had no idea how many variables my farmer mom dealt with and how many times she must have had to think on her feet and come up with a new plan depending on weather, pests and soil.
My brothers and I have run the farm now for 16 years since mom passed away, and I think we have finally learned to roll with what nature gives us. This has also been a helpful mindset to have when parenting young children – flexibility is key.
I’ll keep you updated on our spring crops. Savor the last weeks of winter.