Recent Farm Goings-on

Hey y’all! Evan here, the new member of the STOGROW student farmers, coming at ya with some updates about the farm. As Payne mentioned, we’ve been doing a lot of weeding these first few weeks – in fact, weeding and general farm cleanup is basically what we can expect to be doing for a while longer due to the weather. Prior to being engaged with farm work, I would’ve guessed that all this rain would be a great thing for crops, but actually, due to the late, cold winter/spring we had, many farmers in the area haven’t been able to prep their fields’ soil to get seeds into the ground; it’s been pretty rough for everyone so far. I’ve heard that this spring has been so tough that some professional farmers are simply passing up this year due to cost vs. yield/revenue.

Despite the poor weather so far, we’re still going to give it our best shot! Our field has been tilled twice, our “circle garden”, “free garden” and raspberry bush patch have been weeded and composted, and we’ve been hand-tilling and squaring out some corners of the field so that when we finally do get to start planting, we’ll have some more space to utilize.

Aside from the veggies which are pretty much on hold right now, Payne has studied up a bit on beekeeping, and has a hive of about 10,000 Italian bees. Perhaps there will be some updates about them in the future…? We’re also planning on doing chickens again this year, and hopefully we’ll have our fine, feathered ladies on the farm soon.

Anyway, let’s keep our fingers crossed that we’ll get some sunny, dry weather in our futures so that we can get this show on the road! Stay tuned!

-Evan

Why Can’t Weeds be Friends?

For the last week or so that we’ve been farming, weeding has been our primary activity. We began by weeding out a sizable raspberry patch, followed by the weeding of our herb garden, as well as several other small plots. Removing all the unwanted plants surrounding our produce makes our job harvesting immensely easier; at the same time though, weeding makes me feel a little guilty. Why do we have the right to remove all these grasses, flowers, and vines which clearly flourish on the land? At times I feel like a colonial power, planting produce that will benefit my needs, while uprooting the bad native weeds.

So why can’t we just get along with weeds?

It’s because weeds are even greedier than we are. Weeds thrive because they absorb a tremendous amount of water, growing to colossal size, while other plants fall behind. When we pull weeds out of the ground, they shrivel quickly in the sun because they lose this source. Weeds also germinate at a rapid rate, spreading seeds far and plentiful.

We weed diligently, not because weeds are bad plants, but because they do not require nutrient rich soil like our produce does. They can regenerate without our help, whereas the relationship between us and our produce is symbiotic: our vegetables need us to grow, and we need them to eat.

-Payne