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WORKING IN ANTICIPATION OF A DAY OF RAIN ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. Rain makes the soil too wet to work. There are


WORKING IN ANTICIPATION OF A DAY OF RAIN ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. Rain makes the soil too wet to work. There are ways to minimize rain’s impact.

We had been monitoring this approaching rain for days. It’s the much lessened remnants of the same weather system which had recently caused 18 tornado deaths in Texas and Arkansas.

Ahead of the rain, yesterday afternoon Caleb ran the IH (International Harvester) Vibrashank over unplanted ground. The ‘corrugated’ soil surface left behind contains more surface area than flat ground and therefore will more quickly dry out once the rain stops.

We also planted Potatoes late into the evening last night. This will be a relatively warm rain so all those varieties we have already planted will benefit from getting a shot of water which will promote root and shoot growth. The seed pieces we’ve planted have been warmed up and sprouted and are all ready to grow.

Too much of a good thing can be a problem. In 2011, during the week after we got done planting Potatoes, we received 10″ of rain. In extreme conditions like that deluge – at that early stage – we had some seed rot resulting in misses in the row.

The next year, 2012, at the end of June we had 11″ of rain over the last three days of June (Houlton got 14″). By then, the Potato plants were 6-12″ tall and enjoyed all that water, none the worse for wear. The rest of the story is we got very little precipitation during that July or August. The pendulum swung and we got a Summer’s worth of rain in just three days. That’s farming.

Caleb, Megan & Jim




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