Another 2.5 inches of rain! We’re still able to get in and out past the arroyo without too much trouble, but other parts of the state are really getting hammered. Rainfall records being broken all over. Slowing us down a little. We’ve left early a time or two when the arroyo started rising fast, so we wouldn’t get trapped overnight. Haven’t been able to move clay–it’s so wet we can’t pick it up in the tractor bucket, then so wet can’t get it off.
Been working on an earthen floor in the barn, among other things. The plants look good. Had a Buffalo grape set leaves the other day, so now have at least one of everything we ordered this year. Weeds getting to be a problem.
[Anna] The Lamborghini tractor (yes it really is a lamborghini) did finally bite the dust. We bought a new Montana tractor. She’s a beaut and so easy to drive. Since I’m only 5′ it was really hard to sit on the edge of the old tractor’s seat and push in the clutch. We’ll have to post a picture. Bruce absolutely adores the new Montana. We have to keep the keys out of it because all he has to do is turn the key to start it. The old tractor required 2 different clutches to be pushed in while turning the key - no way Bruce was going to get that done all at once. Although, he did know enough to put my hand on the hand clutch & my other hand on the key in order to get the lamborghini started
[Jo] More rain! Probably another two or more inches! The plants are loving it, but its slowing us down. Yesterday we cut out early because it started coming down so hardÂ we were worried we’d get caught at the arroyo. The repairs to both arroyos are holding up well despite the continued torrents. We’re getting a load of crusher finds tomorrow and hope the delivery truck makes it.
We need the crusher finds to finish the next section of flooring in the barn. In the last couple of weeks we’ve raised the level of the floor to within two inches of its final height, and leveled and compacted it. Right now we’re putting in the piping that will ultimately connect to the rocket stove and provide radiant heat for the ground floor. We’ve installed about half the tubing. We’ll spread about one inch of crusher finds over it, hauling it in with the new tractor. We’ll then put in the rest of the piping (waiting so we don’t crush it with the tractor), and finish with more crusher finds. Kind of experimental. Hope it works.
Anna and I seeded one of our future veg beds with the daikons, bordered it with logs, and topped with a little hay. Planning one more for now, 4 X 25 feet. Eventually there will be four beds in the courtyard just below the greenhouse. Right now the other half of the proposed site is blocked with building material. In the spring we’ll put raised beds on the area, fill them full of bulbs & vegs. Hoping the daikons will rot down there and improve the tilth of the soil.Â
For 2 months we were unable to go to our logging site (we are logging the wood to build our house through a National Forest thinning contract) because of a lack of rain. The fire ban rules say no chainsaws. So we got a welcome break which allowed us to plant many cultivars and start this blog among other things. The rain hasÂ ended the fire ban. Now the rangers want us back in the woods to finish the thinning contract. However, too much of a good thing means we can’t drive our vehicles back in the forest without sinking axel deep in the mud. We learned this the hard way on Sunday when we tried to get our goose neck trailer and winch into our load-out site to move some logs. The ground looked solid enough to us so we drove down the rocky road and pulled out into the turn around where we typically load our logs. Two and a half hours later we left empty handed after stringing our winch from tree to tree to pull our sorry butts out of the mud. We went about a 100 feet in that amount of time. We could have cut thirty trees and loaded 15 in the same amount of time if it hadn’t been for all that rain and mud. Well at least the forest won’t burn down. We won’t be back there until it dries out a bit. Hope the rangers understand but we’re still running down the clock on the contract.
Wow. Last night we got 3″ of rain on the farm. The night before there was a 1/2″.
[Anna] I got a lb of daikon radish seeds in the mail today. I can’t figure out why organic daikon radish seeds for sprouting are so cheap & daikons for planting are so expensive. I hope I got the correct thing. I found a middle of the road price from New England. We going to seed in between the grapes and berries and where we plan on putting our raised vegetable beds. We’re hoping that the extensive roots will help with breaking up the clay soil & bringing micronutrients to the soil surface. Maybe we’ll eat one or two, but I really can’t stand radishes and I think they’ll be too pica for Jo. Perhaps Eric will like them … perhaps we’ll try them at the farmers market. I’m not sure what harvesting will do to the soil though. The whole point right now for putting these in is soil improvement utilizing the current irrigation system. One day we might put cover crops between the vinyard/berry rows but currently we don’t want to deal with the irrigation issue.
I think right now is a great time to plant these seeds. We’re having a really wet monsoon season. We’ll see what happens.
On a sadder note, the front wheel drive went out on the tractor & I think it is going to take one or two months for the parts to come in. Sooo… we’re stuck with a tractor that has a hard time with hills in 2WD. If we put the chipper on the back, the added weight gives it just enough umph to get up the driveway & into the barn - but barely. I’m hoping this won’t put us too far behind on our to do list. Right now we can’t use the tractor to harvest trees. We’ll see.