Thursday, May 30, 2013

Muddy Beans, Muddy Boots

So I was planting beans Tuesday...

...which gave me muddy boots, muddy fingers, muddy knees and a muddy butt. At least I didn't really have to grab the individual beans, as one (or three) would simply stick to the end of my finger! 

The bean trellis will support our 10' pole bean varieties--Hidatsa Shield Figure (dry bean) and Rattlesnake (snap bean). You can see the dark color of the soil...

...however, I was able to get the second round of beans in the ground--finally! The soil is more wet than we are comfortable for transplanting our tomatoes, peppers, ground cherries, melons and squash that are outside, but a day will arrive--just around the corner. I did manage to pop 128 basil plants in the ground. So... the field there is rhubarb, asparagus, kale, strawberries, leeks, onions, basil, hubbard squash, early/mid/late season potatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, muskmelon, broccoli, carrots, peas, radishes, cabbage, marigolds, parsley, snap/dry beans, bunching onions, swiss chard, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, sweet corn, parsnips, dill, buttercup squash, zucchini, shallots, garlic, beets, kohlrabi. So, not to shabby. Back to the beans...

Beans coated with innoculant prior to planting.
Our beans (and peas) are planted with innoculant. This stimulates the rhizobacterial relationship that these legumes have with the soil. This not only benefits the health of the plant (robust root system; increased uptake of nutrients), but also benefits the soil by increasing organic matter, soil aeration and stabilization. Have you heard of 'nitrogen fixing'? Legumes fix nitrogen from the surrounding soil through this relationship, changing it to a usable form, rather than  leaving it locked in the soil. Pretty cool.

Farming is way more than just sticking plants in the ground, it's also understanding, respecting, and working with the vibrant, natural systems that are in place. Like the rain! The rain is good, it's making me a little crazy, but it's good! The 'Abnormally Dry' spot on the drought map is creeping every closer to our corner of the county, which is still in 'Moderate' drought status.

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