On the Farm

June 29, 2016

This is my annual issue on weeds! Yes, it is June, and everything is lush. Plants are experiencing phenomenal growth due to longer daylight and optimal temperatures. We never get tired of checking the progress of crops from day to day and saying (just like every year previous), "Wow, look at how much insert name of whichever plant you are looking at has grown since yesterday!"

 

However this growth is also occurring with the plants we aren't trying to grow. June is when we lament that if we could sell weeds, we'd be rich because we are that good at growing them! Yes, we have a bumper crop this year. Lamb's quarters, thistle, nightshade, wild carrot, pig's weed, quack grass (lots of quack grass), etc. We have them all. Sigh.

 

It is a major chore for us to stay caught up with the weeds. If you've ever grown a garden or flower bed - you know what I mean. We have the best of intentions in April and May when we are planting, planting, planting. Bill and I comment many times on how we are going to hoe every week, and this will be the year weeds don't drive us crazy!

 

But while we are doing all that planting, the weeds are inauspiciously establishing a foothold in our fields. You might wonder how we miss what is happening right in front of us. I attribute it to the sneaky attack they have devised. They start very little and look harmless. Then they get a little bigger, and we make plans to hoe and weed after our current tasks are completed. Often we do, but sometimes a more urgent chore takes precedence. And then here we are, harvesting peas grown in weeds as tall or taller than they are. Many of the pea plants are thriving as they climb the surrounding weeds. They enjoy the shade and the natural mulch effect the pesky interlopers provide. However, it isn't an efficient way to harvest, and doesn't maximize the yield of peas. So embracing weeds isn't an option. 

 

With less to plant, we are now finding a little more time to tend the fields. Yet, we are fully aware that we will not eradicate weeds in the vegetable fields nor should we really. It's all about balance, and let's just say we are working to find our balance with weeds for this season.

 

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