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“I love intense!”

Weeding onions

If you’re not on top of weeds by mid-June, things are gonna get ugly. Here, I’ve yet to come close to not having…problem spots, like this year’s onion section, where a perfect combination of heat and rain made relatively tiny pigweed JUMP in just a couple of days. At this size, and with the weeds growing right close to the onions, careful hand-weeding is the only option, other than tilling under the crop. Today. Lynn, Libby and I tackled the job…

Weeded onions

Hours of weeding and a complete weather change later, the deed was done. As much as you think about the intense amount of labor, what that adds to the true cost of one of these onions, how things could’ve been done more efficiently, and so forth, you can’t help but be satisfied by such a complete…makeover. I asked Libby, after her very first crazy weeding spree, how she felt. With a big grin, she said: “I love intense!” You can’t help but love that attitude! :)

Feeding the goats

And there was still time for other fieldwork, an unhurried lunch break, and time out to play with the goats… Is this an economically viable way to farm? Well, it’s kinda working out so far, things are slowly, steadily improving, and we seem to be having ever more fun as it goes along!

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8 Comments

  1. willing hands organic farm

    Ditto on the onions. AND let’s talk about garlic being literally buried under thistles. Trouble is it is just me weeding, so guess how much gets accomplished, oh boy.
    Julie

  2. I am very envious of your beautiful goats.  They look absolutely lovely.

  3. Nat West

    Things must be going well since you’re constantly working with beautiful women. I haven’t seen a picture of a man on this blog yet! Keep up the good work!

  4. Do you have escaping goats often? I heard they couldn’t be kept reliably behind a split-rail like that. Is this a misnomer?

  5. willing hands organic farm

    Ha Ha Nat, I too was thinking hmmmm, this guy is immersed in beautiful young women!!! Hey Mike………..are you a young geezer or an old one?????? Guess it really doesn’t matter, the weeds disappear while Mike takes in the scenery. Too funny.

    BTW there are pics of guy friends helping Mike on this blog. Of course we never see a pic of Mike, c’mon Mike how bout a pic of you?

    Julie

  6. Nat West: I’ve been meaning to post on this: based only on my own experience with this tiny farm, I’d say WOMEN are powering the local/organic/green/tiny farming movement or sector or whatever, at the grassroots level. Maybe 75% of everyone, from people working here, to customers at the market, to CSA members, are women. It seems to me that women are a little more…proactive about making I guess you could say, “green” changes  For example, the majority of CSA members are couples or families, but it tends to be the women who make contact. It’s interesting.

    Everett: The rail fence is just decorative, as you can see in the pic, there is a wire fence behind. Goats escape from time to time through the fence, usually the smaller ones, when they work themselves through the wire. It’s amazing what a tiny space they can fit themselves through. But it doesn’t happen often.

    Julie: There are photos of me all over the blog! Well, there are at least 2-3. ;) I started off the blog NEVER including photos of people, myself included, just the garden, gear and whatnot. But my thinking has evolved quite a bit over the last year (I’ve mentioned this in other posts and comments). I recently said to someone here that I think people are just as much a part of tiny farming as the veggies. My initial, more hardcore, “one farmer, one field” approach has really…changed. Right now, I can’t imagine not working with people I enjoy spending the time with. Although maybe that could change again… I hope not!

  7. Arzeena Hamir

    Hi Mike,

    Hope this isn’t a silly question but I noticed your weeding is being done mostly by hand pulling. Is there a reason you aren’t using a hoe? Are the weeds just too big?

  8. Arzeena: Yes, hand-pulling when they’re too big to hoe. :( I’m replying in August, and all of our later plantings are under control and being weeded mainly by hoe and wheel hoe.

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