Who’ll stop the rain?
“Still the rain kept pourin’, fallin’ on my ears
And I wonder, still I wonder who’ll stop the rain” – John Foggerty
Ah, the early morning sun is rising in the east, the farm is quiet, and the hounds are still not up from their midnight slumber. After a long week of very wet, soggy, and depressing farming weather we can at least enjoy a weekend and dry out before the rains come again early this upcoming week. Connecticut is close to a record for June rain fall and the crops are starting to show signs of fatigue. We need some sun, and fast! Its a little too early to start crying foul on Mother Nature but shades of ’09 are starting to emerge and, like Fight Club, we don’t talk about ’09…
A lot of people wonder what us worse, rain or drought? Obviously both are an issue but most veggie growers are active users of irrigation systems – though for those big commodity growers out in the plains (and west), its a little more tricky, they rely on rain a lot. We would much rather it be dry then wet. After all, who in their right minds likes to sit in water day after day? Who likes to sink up to their knees in mud when harvesting kale or radishes? What plant encourages slugs to come en masse to wallow on their leaves? Exactly.
Most damaging to the farm in the past two weeks of rain is the fact that for every day we cannot get our big machinery into the fields, its another day we CANNOT plant. Every day lost is a day later in the season where we don’t have a crop yet. Its all a matter of timing right now and time is not on our side. October is a mere 100 plus days away and we gotta get stuff in the ground! We still have half our tomato crop to get in (around 10,000 more plants for those keeping score at home) as well as the next wave of direct seedings like salad greens and beets, and all our fall winter squashes and pumpkins, too. Ugh.
Funny, over the weekend at market, where it was sunny and beautiful way too many people asked if the water was “bad” for the crops? It’s amazing to us that the disconnect is so complete between the growing life and the consumer regarding this issue. Yes, too much rain is bad, plain and simple. Next topic please…