As with most things in life, farming has its ups and downs. One of the ups this weeks was planting all of our onions – about 1800 feet of them! Abe started the morning of planting with us which was another one of the ups. One of the many reasons we are choosing to farm is the ability to work as a family, and Tuesday morning was a great example of this. Granted, Abe is still learning that we want to plant the onions in the ground and not pull them out or sit on them . . . baby steps! He is an enthusiastic gardener and doesn’t seem to mind getting wet or dirty one bit.
The down this week was last night’s storm. At about 1:00am we woke to a cacophony of thunder and a lightning show that puts the 4th of July to shame. After much pacing back and forth to the window to check the wind and rain, we decided to dash out and roll our hay wagon of transplants that we hoped to put in the ground this Saturday into the shed. Good thing, because not 5 minutes later, we were hit with dime to quarter-sized hail. The hail only lasted about 10 minutes but that’s about all it takes to do a lot of damage in the fields. And the heavy rain (about 2 1/4 inches between 1:00am and 9:00am ) didn’t help either. Fortunately, we only had onions, lettuce, kohlrabi and potatoes planted in the fields yet. The lettuce looks terrible (see picture) but we’re hoping that it is early enough in its life to outgrow the damage. We do several plantings of lettuce and kohlrabi, so we don’t bank on just this set. The seeds that we just direct seeded may or may not be where we planted them! With that hard rain, seeds often wash out if they have not germinated yet. We will see in a couple of days. But, we do several plantings of our direct seeded crops as well so there are many more opportunities to grow if these did wash out.
Spring is a fickle time of year in Minnesota. We have been through enough seasons farming that we know that things bounce back, but we sure are glad this is early May with a hail storm and not early July when things are really growing strong.
We are looking forward to the upcoming week with calmer weather and a lot of planting. Hopefully the fields will dry up enough in between weather events to allow us to continue our planting. We are sure that Abe will not mind the large mud puddles in the fields!