Spring planting goes on, in spite of rain and snow, cold and hot. Nikki and I had to go down to Ukiah last Tuesday for a couple of doctor appointments sandwiched around a brief appearance at the County Board of Supervisors, who are in the midst of finalizing the county cannabis ordinance. When we got back around dark, Cassie came running out to say that we needed the generator turned on right away. She explained that the new seed starts were already growing out the bottom of the two inch soil cubes, so she had been transplanting the cubes into one gallon pots all day. I hurried to change out of my city clothes to help.
As I wrote previously, we switched to sprouting in brown coffee filter paper and had nearly 100% success rate. Nearly all the strains cracked their seeds within a day or two. A few other strains (primarily Indian land race ones) did not sprout at all, not a one. Once cracked, when the little white tap root is just peeking out (not more than one half inch), they are transplanted into the two inch soil cubes. This time we used a new soil mixture Cassie made, using 50% chopped and shredded oak tree moss with the other half being a native soil mixture. This also worked very well: most of the seeds popped up their shoots, with the two little round leaves within a few days.
Back at the ranch Tuesday night the problem was that all the newly transplanted starts in gallon pots had been put in the new greenhouse, the one I had just finished erecting the day before. The weather forecast was for rain and possible snow, with temperatures in the low thirties. So I hopped on the tractor and picked up the generator on the forks and drove out to the garden.
It was now raining, so once the genny was in place we had to make a quick cover with saw horses and boards. Of course it needed oil, so back to the barn to grab a quart of 10w/30 motor oil and feed the machine. Then the electric heater and a fan along with a long extension cord were carried out and hooked up.
Fortunately, there were a lot of eager hands to help wheel the generator through the mud and bring out the equipment. Soon enough, we were all back in the house next to the wood stove, warm and cozy but totally exhausted. The crew had been working non-stop from 9 am mixing soil, filling pots and transplanting delicate seedlings. Any damage to the fragile stalk or tap root can stunt the growth even if it doesn’t kill the plant.
But, that’s farming!! When Mother Nature does Her thing in Her unpredictable manner, it’s all hands on deck to meet the occasion. Disaster threatens. All the starts could freeze. It has got to be done right now or it might be too late. The whole crop could be lost! Best to remain calm. Figure out just what needs to be done, assign tasks and do the needful.
The crop takes priority over nearly everything else. We take care of the cannabis, give her everything she wants. In return, she teaches us and takes care of us medically and inspirationally. She deserves only The Best tender loving care.