Planting continues here at Oak Hill Farms. The vegetable patch is just over 5000 square feet, and just over half of that space is now seed-ready. Since this area has been pasture/hay land for the past several decades, removing the sod and weeds is the biggest current project. We started in the fall by running a disc over the land, breaking the sod and killing some weeds. This spring we repeated the process with the disc, a chisel plow, and a device called a “soil surgeon” that is sort of like a harrow. At this point, enough plants are in the ground that any further turning, smoothing, and de-weeding needs to be done by hand. This has the added benefits of using no diesel fuel (directly, at least) and providing exercise. By next year, we hope to be able to do the majority of the work by hand. Minimizing the tilling process helps to keep underground mycelial networks intact, which is good since fungi contribute to soil organic matter, plant nutrient uptake, and the soil food web.
For now, the broccoli raab and arugula are both up; peas, potatoes, lettuce, broccoli, onions, ans other early veggies are in the ground. Last night and today there has been a slow, soaking rain, with sunshine and warm weather predicted for mid-week. We are enjoying a day of rest while we can.