Saturday, July 11, 2009

Season 2009 - Week 6 - Notes from the Farm by Devin Dinihanian

This is Devin's first year at Hearty Roots and first year living on the East Coast.

As chief officer of irrigation, my jobs included many things, until of 2 weeks ago. I was responsible for laying lengths of fire hose along the road which bisects the fields at Grieg Farm, connecting it to 3 inch lie flat hose, and on to the 2 inch, header tape and finally connecting the drip tape to the whole system. I had boxes of threaded connectors and hose clamps at my disposal, as well as 3 pumps set up along the sides of two irrigation ponds on the properties. We had mapped out all the different beds that needed watering, the squash and melons, the eggplant and the peppers, the tomatoes, leeks and onions, using a sophisticated graphing program which we carried around on our digital wristband communicators which were disguised as mead spiral note books. Everything was going just as planned, until the unexpected shifts in global climate weather patterns threw us entirely for a loop.

And in our line of work, loops are not always that great.

The week of June 7th saw sudden thunder storms, fields under the siege of rain clouds and mud filled trenches. When the week ended, we had 3.09 inches of rainwater to deal with. The turtles in the pond loved it, but my irrigation lines were stuck without a paycheck. The next week we got hit again by these lightning rich thunder and rain clouds, as huge systems of weather spun in from who knows where. (I tried to look it up, but just kept getting routed to a netflix page). That week we got 3.60 inches. Incredible. I knew my rain gear was going to come in handy, but I didn't realize it was to become my permanent uniform.

Irrigation work was not the only thing that suffered because of these storms. Our infantry saw legions of weeds growing everywhere on the farm, given strength by the water and taking the opportunity to thrive during our inability to cultivate effectively. We spent days on the ground, pulling crab grass clusters out of the garlic, and lamb's quarters out of the root vegetables. Two more weeks of torrential wet weather followed. As of today we have had 11 inches of rain since the 7th.

Things are still growing, and we are still harvesting, but everyone wants to know when this weather will end. An impossible to answer question. Unless you can see into the future. Which I can't do. Yet. Just going to go back to my irrigation lines, set up the infrastructure for when the dry season does arrive, and hope that the drip tape doesn't lose its edge.

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