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Another weather update on Farm Visit #2, Soil is saturated & more rains forecasted...dates will have

Posted 4/24/2017 10:56pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Dear [SAP] members,

As we were quite fortunate with Farm Visit #1, (which was one of the most important, as the potato chits always need to get in the ground early),  our Farm Visit #2 continues to bump heads with clouds, rain drops, and super wet soils!  We had over 4 inches of rain fall here over the weekend and had the quick scare of the remembrance of the 2010 Flood on Saturday early morning.  I was awoken by Matthew telling me that "he was off to move the chicken coop and that the waters were starting to swell the banks, we could be in for another flood."  This is by no means a pleasant way to be awoken.  The only crop that would have been effected by a flood is the Garlic, as it is down in the lower part of a field closer to the creek.  The rains stopped just in time that morning to give the water in the creek enough time to reside before the rains started up again in the afternoon.  

As you can imagine, the soils are saturated and more rains are forecasted starting this Thursday through the weekend.  With this much saturation it will be near impossible to get into the fields for anything for a little while...spreading compost, hilling, or planting beans.  So until further notice, all current Farm Visit #2 dates are going to have to be postponed till dates in May.  

At least this allows one to see how doing field work as a grower, is not always as specific and clear cut as other business pursuits or activities that do not have to work in the harmony of the weather and by all means shows the reality that growing your own food is not as easy as strolling into a grocery store, no matter what the weather, to buy potatoes, dry beans, and garlic!  As a farmer, every week has to be looked at as not only a list of what the farmer wants and needs to do, but also what nature wants and needs to do.   

I think there is only a couple of potato varieties, out of the 22, that have not shown their bright green stem sprouts yet, so this is great folks!  It is the Swedish Peanut/Almond and the Reddales, from what I can tell from the perimeter, and funny enough these are two varieties that I planted by myself.  I think this has to do a little with the the sprouting of these two particular varieties when they were put into the ground (the eyes had very little sprout growth) and that I think my method of planting might get the potatoes just a little deeper than your all's planting.   Soon there will be lots and lots of hilling & cultivating to be done.  When it dries out we not only will be planting the last 3 rows of beans, but more than likely the large task of hilling all the potatoes will upon us. 

I will try to send out some new Farm Visit #2 dates for the month of May here in the next week or so.  




Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401


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