Week Five Jive

Summertime summertime some some summertime …

This week saw more fall crops transplanted out into the field, more insect enemies of the people destroyed, more weedy weeds weeded. We got a couple rejoiceable rounds of rain, plenty of sunshine, and a bit more humidity than we’d really prefer. But hey! Summer!

the weekly field panorama

Probably the most noteworthy event this week is also pretty gross. So you might want to just skip down to the Box section.

You’re still here? OK then. Have you ever heard of fish emulsion? It’s an organic fertilizer made from the carcasses of dead fish. Plants LOVE it – which is why Native Americans would bury dead fish next to their corn crops. Well, we got a tip that someone in nearby Saint Croix Falls was giving away 55 gallon drums of organic fish emulsion – and for years, we’ve been hoping to start using liquid fertilizer to feed nutrient-hungry crops through our drip irrigation lines. But it’s not easy to find locally and expensive as hell to ship. So we pounced on the opportunity, and within a few hours I was on the road to pick it up with our friend Steffan (Kristin stayed back to go to the township meeting where the citizens planned to speak out against a proposed mega pig-farm that’s been menacing our area).

The good news was that we timed it to arrive at the same time as another farmer was picking up a massive vat of the stuff – he brought a skid steer loader, which he was willing to use to load up our little trailer with three of the ~500 lb barrels.

The bad news was that the plastic lids had degraded and broken in the sun over the three years they’d sat out – and they sloshed EVERYWHERE as we rocked them into position in the trailer. On our feet, our legs, our hands, all over the trailer – and at one point, a wave spewed up and out, forming a fist that punched Steffan in the mouth.

And I haven’t mentioned yet …. this stuff was the grossest smelling stank that we’d ever smelled – and we’re both veterans of exploring sewer tunnels, if that tells you anything. Don’t even try to imagine what three year old slurried carp carcass juice smell like. It’s amazingly pungently horrid, and the smell stains anything it touches.

Then once we finally got them loaded and hit the road, a spotted deer fawn darted out in the wet road ahead of us …I slammed on the brakes, squealed down to a crawl that just missed the baby deer – as thousands of pounds of fish goo barrels slid forward and sloshed a wave of stench at the van.

Widget scampers away from rolling in the dripping fish goo under the trailer
Widget scampers away from rolling in the dripping fish goo under the trailer

We stink, the van stinks, the air around the field stinks, and the trailer will never not stink again. It was epically gross and hilarious and a memory that will linger much as the smell of the fish emulsion does … now we just have to figure out how to get the barrels out of the trailer, and how to filter and inject the stuff into our irrigation lines. It should be … interesting.

These are the things we do to grow for you! :)

BOX FIVE:

Red Onions

Peas – Snow & Sugar Snap

Zucchini – three color varieties

Radishes – French Breakfast

Skye & Alissa washing radishes

Kohlrabi / or Cucumbers / or Okra – we didn’t have enough kohlrabi for everyone, due to a combination of an epic cutworm boom this spring, and that June frost we had. So some of you get the first of the cucumbers instead – and the Goat Farmers get okra. We have a second round of kohlrabi coming for the late season though!

Thai Basil

Kale –  Curly Blue, Red Russian, & Tuscan

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