we've been pretty busy with lots of things. Most of, wondering where all the time goes in the day!
Today we started transplanting onions into the beds of the field. We learned that there's a lot more that goes into planting than just putting the vegetables in the ground. Our soil is incredibly low in organic matter, and a bit sandy to boot. That translates for people who don't know, very porous soil that doesn't hold moisture very well. We haven't had rain for a while, which for most Maine farms isn't a problem with all of their organic matter, but for us, difficult, because we've been having trouble with our water pump from the bay, and the tides aren't currently aligning themselves to when we need to pump the water in. So we've been filling 5gal buckets at home in the morning and trucking it the mile to the fields. Anyway, we got 3 and a half rows planted. Pretty good. We'll do more tomorrow, hopefully, because....
our mentor farmer, Jill, came over to visit us for the first time this evening. And when she saw our three rows of onions in each bed, all 4 inches apart, she asked, "why are you planting those all individually?" According to her, you can plant three little baby onions together in one bunch, with a greater spacing (12 inches) apart, and not compromise the eventual size of your onions by having those three little starts all together. Plus, weeding becomes a lot easier when you have more space to get tools in there. PLUS you don't have to open up a new hole and worry about each individual little delicate onion transplant every 4 inches! Yikes! I wish we had known this before we spent the whole day planting onions! :) We'll probably keep doing it the old way, since that's what we know, and with heavy irrigation this summer, we hope to have very large onions. But, we'll also try out a row with the different method, and see if we really can get away with less work, and same result.
I'd love to hear about others' discoveries of doing things an easier way, especially if the initial attempt was a) incredibly time-consuming and b) back-breaking.