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

gardendwellers FARM

Feeling overwhelmed

After coming home from National Guard camp a little more than a week ago, I was overwhelmed by the amount of work waiting for Ilene and I in the field. Weeds had begun taking control in several spots and we knew there was going to be a lot of work ahead of us.

Guard camp lasted two weeks and now, after spending the past four days in the field, I still have work to do and am not quite finished with the weeding. That's all I did since I got out in the field on Friday morning. 

Today is Monday and I'm taking a vacation day from my regular job as newspaper editor to get as much done as I can. Yesterday, Sunday, Ilene spent seven hours just working on weeding carrots and only got one row done.

That should give you an idea of how big this field is. We don't have big machinery so since everything is done by hand, it takes a considerable amount of time. But, in our defense, we are working on virgin soil this year and North Dakota has been unusually cool in June so the beneficial plants got a late start.

I'm really hoping that this late June heat will kick start the plants so they can create a canopy over themselves and stifle the weed growth. That's the best hope because to do this again and spend the better part of a full week just weeding, is too much.

And, as I was working yesterday getting weeds out of the parsnips, I looked in the next row to find beaucoup cucumbers that are getting to a point of needing trellises. 

Last year we trellised cucumbers for the first time and our yield nearly tripled so I'm going to find the time to get that done. Cantaloupes, squash and cantaloupes will also be trellised so we can at least get decent yields.

Peas are going to be a challenge. We planted more than 2,000 feet of peas, roughly 400 feet a week for four weeks. Weeds are popping up there bo they need to be cleaned before the trellises go up.

Now, I'm beginning to think about the work load when we begin picking. We'll have to come up with an efficient system. We were strapped last year and had 14 CSA shareholders. This year we have 26 and we are both working full time. 

It's going to be a challenge.

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