After getting a little behind on transplanting due to the rainy weather, we are finally caught up after a planting frenzy. In the last two weeks, all of our tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, first cucumbers, melons, summer squash, and third round brassicas were planted. We had some great help from a group of students doing a farm stay at our farm through a sustainable agriculture program run through the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA). They were very willing workers with insightful questions about sustainable ag, and it was great to have fresh faces at the farm.
We have been doing a lot of field work in the evening, especially weeding, and we are kept good company in the fields by another pair of doting parents. Our cucumbers are planted right next to a killdeer nest which is in the driving row next to that field. We had been avoiding mowing that area until the babies hatch. If you have never seen a killdeer protect its young, it is really quite a show. The killdeer mama and papa try to lure you away from their nest by faking a broken wing. They flop and turn and try to coax you away from their precious young. In doing so, they give one of the most beautiful wing displays and make quite a racket at the same time. I’m not sure we ever totally appreciated their parental efforts until raising a little one of our own.The young have hatched now and they are the spitting image of their parents. Long-legged and gangly, they have started exploring their new home on the farm.