Well after the wet spring we had it seems as though the rain has been shut off. So the name of the game at Pekarek’s Produce has become IRRIGATION! Amongst all of the other daily and weekly work on the farm, Ryan is now running irrigation non-stop. We irrigate as much of our produce as we can get too in a couple ways. Most of our produce runs off of a drip irrigation system. Last year we purchased a system which we can pull behind a tractor to make a raised bed, which mounds a flat layer of dirt where vegetables can grow, lay down plastic mulch, and pull drip tape at the same time. Not all of the produce is grown on plastic or raised beds however, so much of the drip tape we lay out by hand, which usually entails Ryan or Alex moving a big roll of drip tape and pulling the black tape in a straight line along the vegetables.
Unfortunately, when it did try to rain once during the last week, we instead ended up with ping pong ball size hail followed by peas sized hail for 5-10 minutes. It has definitely done some damage to the fruits that were already set on plants like zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, and some pumpkins and squash.
Today (July 30) we’ve also been doing some transplanting. After raising plants in trays under the protection of a plastic greenhouse, they are ready to be planted. We used to take the plants from the trays, crawl on hands and knees, and plant. Now, we have Ryan drive the tractor, with a four person transplanter pulled behind. Two people alternate planting in one row and one or two people follow behind to make sure things were planted correctly.
The transplanter basically has “fingers” on a wheel that move as the tractor moves. A person puts the plants in the finger, the transplanter makes a furrow for the plant to be planted in, and then the transplanter closes it up. All in all, it is a life saver for all of us!
Ryan, Katie, and Crew