Monday, July 02, 2007

On the farm, day 4 -- Beetlejuice

Friday was a fairly easy day on the farm. We did a little cleanup from the previous days' harvest and set up boxes for the upcoming week. Then we hoed around the eggplant, which have beautiful little blueish flowers sprouting, and squished potato beetles that were doing their best to keep all the eggplant to themselves. It was quite unpleasant to squish adult potato beetles with my fingers (compared with the juveniles, who weren't crunchy), but such is the trade off: instead of spraying his crops with all sorts of pseudo-safe pesticide, farmer Mark employs a time-tested, more direct approach to crop protection. Either way, the bugs die; having to crush the beetles with my own hands has helped me realize that the production of almost all food involves some sort of death. I never thought about it so concretely when I bought my food in the grocery store or at the farmers market.

Oh yeah, we also rolled up some ground cover before working on the eggplant. I'm not sure what the purpose of the cover was; perhaps it was some form of insulation. I try to ask Mark questions, but I also try not to be a burden out there. Plus, we're usually really busy. Anyway, after the eggplant we moved some sprinklers around and laid some t-tape in the broccoli beds. T-tape is used to drip-irrigate the crops; it has tiny holes in it, which allows the water to slowly make its way into the soil. I believe Mark said he is testing out the sprinklers for the first time this year. He finds the t-tape more efficient, but doesn't like the fact that he has to trash it when he's done using it on a particular row of crops.

This week's sustenance: lettuce, mixed greens, salad turnips, garlic scapes, scallions, snow peas, snap peas (sweet like candy!), and swiss chard.

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