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Winning the weed war

It’s been a tough year as far as weed control, with frequent heavy rains making cultivation difficult.  And even when the soil is dry enough for tractor work, mechanical cultivation is much less effective in wet soil.  You can knock the weeds around all day long with the tractor, but they just re-root in the mud.  However, I’m pleased to say that we are winning the war, even when many farms are experiencing a “total breakdown in weed control” according to UMASS Extension.  With weekly cultivation on the Farmall Cub, and some (and then some more) dedicated hand-weeding by Paul and volunteer Jessica, things are looking pretty darn good if you ask me.

There’s a bunch of new stuff coming out of the garden, so check the website.  We’ve just started picking cukes and basil – how about a cucumber/basil/yogurt salad for a hot summer evening?

Coming soon:  Carrots!  Ground beef!

Coming soon-ish:  Tomatoes, peppers, and more.

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Basket case

Basket case – I’ve encountered this term a few times in the last week, generally referring to my new International Cub tractor that I bought off the side of the road down in RI.  I was curious about where that term came from, and this is what I found for etymology (courtesy of Wiktionary):

The term originated from WWI, indicating a soldier missing both his arms and legs, who needed to be literally carried around in a litter or “basket.” Today it indicates a state of helplessness similar to the metaphoric removal of the appendages, most frequently in the context of mental health or aptitude.

Pretty gruesome, but I think it applies.  To the tractor, in a way.  And to me, obviously, if we’re being honest here.  A friend told me we better get some good weather (i.e. so I can actually get out of the garage and into the field) or the tractor would really be a basket case. And he’s right – I’ve got the left side final drive off (one leg), the head is off (well, the head), front axle was off (arms), and I’m about to drop the oil pan (metaphor exhausted).

Incidentally, If I wasn’t a farmer, I think I might be an etymologist.  If that’s a thing.  And if it is…. nice.

We’re back at the Community Barn on Monday with meats (and shockingly still beets), but note that pickup time is changing from 4pm to 6pm.  We haven’t had a customer yet before 4pm, so we may as well get another hour in at the farm.

Finally, I’ve been remiss in not mentioning this until now – Zach Kerzee is selling his Simple Bread at the barn with us on Monday.  Please place an order through his website if you’d like to pick up a loaf.