What do you do when rain is in the forecast, and you have trays full of transplants in the greenhouse? Strap your kid to your back, and get to work prepping beds!
We all went out to the farm this morning to get beets in the ground before the rain came. As I write this post, rain is coming down steadily on our drought-worn landscape, and has been for the last 6 hours. Since you have to wait for several days after rain to till beds, getting stuff in the ground beforehand is always ideal. And, the new plants love the water.
The first step in bed prep is to run our BCS tractor with the power harrow attachment over the bed. This loosens the soil several inches down, and tears out any residual crop material or weeds left in the old bed. We use a 30-inch rake to remove the plant material from the bed surface. Then, depending on what crop is going in, we make a pass with the broadfork to loosen the soil down to 10-12 inches deep without disturbing the different soil layers. One more pass with the harrow leaves a perfect seedbed ready for either transplanting or direct seeding.
Today, we transplanted red beets, chioggia beets, and golden beets. Farming with kids has its challenges, like eager 3-year-olds wanting to shove delicate little plants all over the bed, and babies deciding they have had enough back-carrier time! When they are happy, you have to work fast! Get it done before they get fussy!
About the Authors
Max and Deirdre Becher farm together on First Steps Farm in Southern California. They love farming, raising their kids, playing music, contradancing, cooking, and working together to create a vibrant culture of celebrating life. See it all unfold right here!