|May 19, 2012!!!|
|Vibrant, delicious lettuce |
|Opening day at the Ypsilanti Market|
|Proud parents of a new 4020|
Among many other things, garlic and onions have long been planted, peas are coming up strong and, most recently, thousands of brassicas have been planted as seedlings. In the latest round of plantings, loads of cabbage, broccoli, kale and even romaine lettuce made way into the ground. Conveniently, we have had some good soaking rains right after these plantings to help settle the soil and jump start their growth.
|It gently grips the plant and |
sets it in the soil
What would take hours to do by hand, takes just minutes behind the tractor, especially when there are two sets of hands feeding the machine.
With two seats situated behind the tractor and a work space for flats of plants to sit, everything runs quite smoothly once the "feeders" placing the plants into the grippers find their rhythm. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but Tom took it slow and Vicki was a super teacher! Thank goodness for patient farmers willing to teach those of us who have never had the privilege of being a part of the Spring planting operations!
We spent the evening planting, chatting, enjoying the smell of earth, and appreciating all the new life and promise held in the tiny plants we were handing over to mother nature to nurture through the season.
Vicki took this great shot of young pea plants while giving Shane a turn with me on the planter. The joy in the delicate tendrils of those little pea plants is indescribable.
I simply cannot wait to be a part of the second season at Zilke Vegetable Farm's Farmstand. I had the honor of helping out occasionally last year and I really look forward to diving in and finding ways to be helpful again this year. Let me be clear though, the greatest blessing of my involvement there is not the incredible knowledge I have begun to and will continue to gain, nor the chance to play elbow deep in earth while helping others, but the absolutely amazing friendship that has grown and blossomed through those experiences.
Spring really is a time to appreciate the beauty and growth we see in our lives.