The tractor was running

While I was potting up tomatoes with volunteers, the tractors were running. 

While I was watering in the heirloom tomatoes, dousing the brassicas that'd been wilting, and unfixing a swath of plastic to let more air flow into the nursery, the tractors were running.

While our program manager, Jen, and I were giving short tours to our youth crew applicants, asking them the same set of questions eleven times over, and thanking them for their time, the tractors were running.

As I closed the nursery back up at the end of the day, spot watered a few trays that looked especially dry, locked up all but one shed, and packed my baseball cap into my bike bag to head home, the tractor was running.

On a day like today, eighty degrees after a week of dry weather and a smattering of rain coming toward us in the next few days, every minute counts.  Our two tractors spent the day with Ted and Michael, one tilling in cover crop as deeply as possible, the other chisel plowing up any hard pan that's formed at the base of the tilled layer, and the first going back over to finely till in preparation for bed shaping.  It's a long process.  It took all day to prep fifteen or so beds with the extra step of the chisel plow, which we'd normally leave out.  The tillers need to be in the ground as many minutes as humanly possible, to beat the rains and get ahead of bed preparation so that we can sit comfortably with enough beds for the next succession or two of plantings.   

 Beds amended with limestone and chicken pellets, ready for the final till

Beds amended with limestone and chicken pellets, ready for the final till

Today I had to keep other projects running: plant sale preparations, nursery care, youth farmer interviews.  I joined the bed preparation party just at the tail end of the day, to help Ted spread chicken pellets on a dozen onion beds before the final till.  No tractor time for me, though.  Not today.  With the season stretching long ahead of us and late springtime weather finally kicking in, I know my tractor time will come.  There's still a few acres to go.

 Spreading chicken pellets on future onion beds

Spreading chicken pellets on future onion beds