Saturday, July 10, 2010

Thinning

The hardest concept for me to accept as a new farmer is thinning.  It just seems like such a waste, ney, a travesty, to kill off a large percentage of your crop just to make room for a small percentage.  But I was looking at a neighbor farmers beets.  They were big, beautiful and about five inches apart each.  Obviously she did some pretty darn good thinning right from the start.  So today I thinned my cantaloupe and carrots.  The carrots were "baby-carrot" sized, so I didn't feel guilty thinning it because baby carrots rock.  The cantaloupe I knew I had to do because I'm already so behind on getting them in the ground that I couldn't fool around with the "maybe it will work smooshed together" experiment.    I had transplanted two dozen of them last week and most of them weren't doing well so that actually made it easier to thin, knowing that transplanting them wouldn't be very successful so: "I have no choice but to toss them," I could justify to myself.  Yes, the least-wasteful thing to do is to just plant seeds at the proper spacing.  I have to admit the cantaloupe I just tossed a bunch in each hole because I had so many and I wasn't sure they were even going to work, as they are part of my "food supply fertility" experiment.  Carrots and beets are pretty much impossible to plant appropriately because the seeds are so small.  I know they make pelleted carrot seeds to eliminate that problem.  (They are bigger, easier to handle and plant).  Maybe I'll try that.

After thinning the carrots I painstakingly washed and cut them and brought them to my sister in laws baby shower where everyone lovingly enjoyed them and complimented me... no, unfortunately that's not what happened.  Nobody touched them!  I don't think they avoided them.  There was just so much food.  A lot of the food there went uneaten.  Nevertheless it was one of those moments you kind of wanted to bang your head on the wall.  All that time and sweat and all I got out of it was this bowl of baby carrots that would have cost $2 at the store and nobody appreciated them.  (Even though I explained they were from my farm).  I know.  I know.  You, my reader, my friend, would have eaten and appreciated them.  I thank you for that. 

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