Today, when I went to the farm the weeds were everywhere. It makes me think of the verses in Genesis 3.
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground"
Yup. Depressing. My neighbor farmer, Dominic, and I commiserated. He commented that the weeds were all-consuming. I have three beds (200 feet each) that aren't covered by black plastic and they are 100% weeds. Just one long row of green. Half of it was never planted on. I may just give up on them. Or maybe there is a way to just dig up all the weeds at once since there are no plants to avoid. The rows of black plastic are beautiful to look at. One lone plant in the middle. No weeds surrounding it. I could kiss it. I think next year I'll do all black plastic. I'm not sure if that's even possible with the small roots- carrots and beets, but if there is a way, I will find it.
Black plastic is kind of ugly. In a nearby town (think: snooty, upperclass) there is this public garden for all the kids to learn how to plant in. I was reading the plan for it and it said there would not be any ugly black plastic (I can't remember the exact wording); that it would be all natural practices, etc. I think that environmentally concerned citizens have this idealized dream of sustainable farming practices. And there is nothing wrong with that. It's like this goal that we should shoot for. And certainly there are things that non-negotiable- like cancer causing pesticides. But it's easy to judge without a full understanding of farming. I am slowly learning that hard lesson. I remember, before this year of farming, reading about how to make a green house. I decided that if I were to make a green house I wouldn't use PCV piping which is environmentally irresponsible. But at my New Entry training they did a brief overview of how to make a green house and there was no discussion of alternatives to PCV piping, which makes me think that an alternative is not very viable- either because of labor or material cost.
I spent a great deal of time weeding the carrots. We pulled various green stems to see which was the top of a carrot. We decided that carrots were kind of whitish with a straight root-no little hairy roots branching off. Once we got that straight we had at it. But I doubt my farm mentors will even be able to tell that I weeded. It still looks overgrown.
We didn't have time to touch the beet weeds. Though I admit to pulling up one beet, brushing the dirt off and attempting to bite it to see what it tastes like. I guess you really need to wash it though to get rid of that dirt taste.
I planted two more trays of peppers. I have two more to go. I'm almost done!
I checked the pumpkin seeds I planted several days ago. The seeds hadn't even cracked open yet. Like the weed problem: Depressing. I'm beginning to think I've missed the window of opportunity to plant our watermelon and cantaloupe, which basically my whole budget rested on this year. Depressing. Next year I think I'll sprout them indoors in May. I don't mind taking a financial hit this year. It was more for the experience than anything.
The last several times I've gone to the farm I was alone (or with small children). I think it's dumb how people can be excited about something in theory but when it comes time to actually doing the work, they're no where to be seen. I think there is something deep down in my soul that needs to be close to nature and that motivates me to go. Maybe that is why I'm so sensitive to sunlight. I don't do well with night shifts and the short days of winter. Also, I enjoy working hard. I think that's because I moved every other year growing up. When moving day came you just pick up a box and carry it to the moving truck. Repeat as necessary. And if you did it slowly the job never got done, but if you did it quickly, it did.