At the mercy of the forecast.

Good morning gardeners,

A quick update on the status of the field –  As those of you on the Farm’s mailing list might be aware, we’re held up on account of moisture. Before we get into the ground for this season, we’ve organized a little trade with Patricia and Josh from Taproot Farm in Port Williams to bring in a disc harrow to chop our new land up before we start planting. Alas, with the boon of technology comes a new dependence on field conditions.

Bringing a tractor on to wet land is a bad idea for a few reasons: most obviously, I suppose, is that tractors get stuck in mud. As awesome as pushing tractors out of mudpits might be, we’re inclined to avoid it if we can. The more important reason to keep tractors off of wet fields is related to soil compaction and conditioning. There’s a study out of the University of Minnesota Extension that says (to poorly paraphrase) that taking heavy equipment onto wet soil can increase compaction in the soil profile by an additional 3-12 inches over dry soil. Essentially, plant roots thrive when exposed to loose soil where water and nutrients are more easily accessible – and we thrive when plant roots thrive! Thriving for all! Wet soil, when worked with plows or harrows, also clumps up into big rock-like clods. We’ve already got plenty of clods with our clay, no need to push our luck.

All that said, it’s drying! With showers forecast for Friday, it’ll be close to see if it dries enough to get working before the weekend – but even if we don’t sneak into this window, the long range predictions are looking good for next week, so why not be optimistic? We’re hoping to get going this weekend or next, but, of course, nobody knows for sure.

More soon, keep your fingers crossed for warm breezy days!

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The Acadia Community Farm began in the spring of 2008 with the vision of providing local, organic produce to the dining hall at Acadia University, while also serving as a community garden. The Farm has grown to become an educational community centre for the exchange of knowledge surrounding gardening, food, and sustainable agriculture. Explore the site to find out more or stop by the Farm for a visit!


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