The Best of Plans
The best of plans
The best of plans, ah remember winter? It is not really that hard since it is still cold, snowy, muddy, and the mountains are covered in white. Winter, the time when the hope spring runs eternal right? Seed catalogs lull us into thinking that growing anything is possible. And we order that seed and make the best of plans. The problem with farming, and especially farming in Western Colorado is that plans are just that a plan. But farming deals with weather and with weather comes the theory of chaos. And out the window goes the plans.
So many businesses start the engine up and turn the machine on and they crank out widgets. Farming does not quite work like normal business. We are subject to the normal ups and downs of economies, inflations, gas prices, etc, but also consistently year in year out, the weather. And as weather gets weirder farming does too.
We have not been in the valley long enough to know, but after eight years one would think that we would have experienced a normal year, but according to the ‘old timers’ there have been no normal years since our arrival. Despite this difficulty each year we farmers make plans. Usually grandiose plans, but without plans where would we be?
This year, as you may have noticed it has been the cold and wet that has changed the (I assure you) best laid plans. It is a refreshing change from the wild winds, desiccating fronts of Utah sand, and cold (though there has been some of that too). We can never complain about rain in the desert west. But it has made it difficult to see those plans to fruition. Soon I assure you people will be complaining about the oppressive heat. So enjoy the rainy and cloudy and cool days.
But let me tell you what has happened to those plans. The bad news is that you should not expect tomatoes too early, but it is still too early to tell really. They would like to be in the ground but instead find themselves still sequestered away in the greenhouse. But lets be honest hot crops in western Colorado are really a luxury. Of course there are those high tunnel tomatoes that look great, so all hope is not lost.
This year one thing we did right was plant lots of peas and favas. They are doing great and loving this cool wet spring. W love these crops as they fix nitrogen while producing a crop that we can never have enough of according to our customers. Those who do the picking would disagree. But once they are picked and returned to the soil the ground is no worse the wear.
Lettuce and bok choy have also loved this weather and are growing well. A few months back they were only in the greenhouse but now have been allowed a chance in the real world, and are prospering with the cooperative weather. We actually do have some tomatoes in the field but they are continually covered up and do not seem to be growing. They seem to almost resent us for having placed them into such an inhospitable environment after the relative warm of the propagation house.
The best laid plans may come to fruition yet, as the spring of hope still pours forth. It is a well that runs deep on any ground farmed. Without that well, farming and food would revert back to a society of scavengers. With hope we will certainly do better than that, but it is just unpredictable what will do the best this year. It certainly seems as different year to year as the weather.