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North Star Farms
P.O. Box 164
Carpio, N.D. 58725
(701) 720-2635

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Marv's Blog
The power of nature
Written by Marv Baker   
Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sometimes, we just have to realize that nature is in charge when it comes to farming. We can do all the planning we want, prepare all we want and when it comes down to it, if nature doesn't want to cooperate, we are out of luck.

This weekend is a good example of that. It just keeps raining and raining and raining. We knew Friday was going to be soggy so we took the long drive to Glenwood, Minn., to Glacial Ridge Growers organic greenhouse to get seedlings we ordered in February. It rained almost all the way down and all the way back. 

So, on Saturday, we planned to get the tiller going and knock out the tilling so we can start planting. Unfortunately, yesterday (Saturday) we had heavy rain most of the day. Still, I went out and tilled what I could. I don't think I did a very good job but at least I got enough knocked down to till the onions.

Today, (Sunday) we plan to plant onions, and of course, when we got up, it was raining. But the onions have to get planted. We are one month now from the summer solstice and because onions are light sensitive, they have to get put in the ground. It may be miserable out there, but they are getting planted "come hell and high water," as the Grand Forks Herald described it in 1997.

We are also behind on peas. My target date to plant peas is April 9. It is now May 22. I want to plant peas too, but the planter is going to just get plugged up from the gooey, slimy mud. I'm tempted to dig a trench with a hoe or shovel and at least get one row of peas planted so they get a start.

In the six years we've been gardening, our timing has always been good, until this year. It seems no matter what we do, we get socked with heavy snow, heavy rain, gale-force winds or frost as was the case two years ago on the 17th of July. Sometimes this can test our patience.

And that reminds me of our garlic crop. It appears we've lost most of it. After a spring flood in April that submerged it for 14 days, then after intense rain in May submerged it for two additional days, I count roughly 350 plants that are growing. We planted 3,700, so that could be a big loss. 

But, we'll pull up our bootstraps and get busy. We have customers to take care of and we will get a crop. There will be gorgeous summer weather coming. We just have to remind ourselves of the power of nature and proceed with caution.

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