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“Don’t Plow More Than You Can Disc in a Day”

Don’t you enjoy fun facts or sayings? “Don’t plow more than you can disc in a day” is akin to “Don’t bite off more than you can chew”. These two sayings are getting at a similar thought but were born out in real world examples. Most of us can relate to having taken on too much and the feeling of being unable to complete the task well.

I have a friend who can hardly ever say “No” to anything. I might be more like that friend than I care to admit. I have to work hard to say “No”. There are just so many good things to do. But I did realize the other day that I am able to say, “NO”. I say it all the time, but instead, I just keep saying, “YES, NO PROBLEM!” I am guilty of biting off a little bit more than I can chew. Can any of you relate????

The other phrase is from my days farming with Belgian Draft horses. When you plow and turn over the soil, the soil that is lifted from the bottom to the top is “soft” or “mellow”. So much so that if you immediately work it with a disc, it will turn into a manageable seedbed. The converse is true as well and I have experienced it many a time. If you plow the soil and don’t get back to discing it for a day or two, your work load increases immensely. You often can’t get that nice seedbed! As soon as the inverted soil “sets”, it tends to bind together. The best thing is only plow what you can disc in a day. It was wise 200 years ago. It is wise now.

This time of year especially feels full! I am thankful for increasing day length and a really nice break in the weather. John (Mike’s son) and I plus a few Klesick kiddos have been tackling the Spring farming season. We have been planning and preparing for this season. And like most Springs, it rarely goes as planned. Yet without some planning, the season would be lost before it started.

We have been planting lettuce every week into transplant trays. About 1000 plants every week get seeded. We purposely started a few weeks later this year anticipating a wetter spring, but I don’t know any farmers who anticipated an end of April start??? As you can imagine those greenhouse plants kept a growing. Last week, the farm crew planted the 3/7 and 3/15 and 3/22 plants all at the same time in the field. So much for planning. But if we hadn’t planned to “start”, we wouldn’t have had any lettuce or peas ready to go and would be unable to take advantage of the weather.

Because we had a plan, it allowed us to take a few minutes and think through some last minute changes. We decided to plant the Sugar Snap Peas in a different location and to plant the green beans earlier than normal. FYI, peas we plant once and beans we plant several times during the summer. We also cut back on the peas this year because the later Spring will push pea harvest into the raspberry and blackberry harvest. Crazy, but when you are working in a living system, flexibility and nimbleness are assets to be coveted.

I think we are well on our way to a good start to the local season. Let the planting continue and the weeding be nonexistent (just hoping)!



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