This is the continuation of a series of posts, the last of which was https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/local-view-a-day-to-skip-planting/
That high pressure moving off the coast of New England gave us a gorgeous day. The local joke was, “May was so cold, we could hardly wait for June.” It was as if the skies actually heeded the changing page of the calender.
However the cold spring may have already done its damage. I live on the border of southern lands where the Native Americans grew corn, and northern lands where they only hunted and gathered. True, those Indians lived back in the Little Ice Age, and if you believe in “Global Warming” that boundary has shifted north. However the simple fact of the matter is we had our last frost May 29, and if I had corn growing I’d need to now replant.
I grow three kinds of Indian corn, (Oriental, Popcorn, and Strawberry,) and all three take around 110 days to mature. If you plant on June first, they will be ripening around September tenth. That is cutting it very close, in terms of our first frost.
Fortunately we have better corns than that these days, and I planted 144 feet of a variety which matures in 67 days (on August 6) and 144 feet of a variety that matures in 91 days, (August 30.) I hope to plant a second block of the first variety, so we have sweet corn ripening around August 17.
While I won’t avoid making a few bucks selling extra corn to the general public, mostly I grow corn for the Childcare, based on the farm. The Childcare pays the bills. There is no way a tiny farm can compete with agribusiness, but there is no way agribusiness can compete with me, when it comes to treating children well.
At my Childcare children get to see the small, yellow seeds planted, get to see the tiny shoots spring up until they tower high above their little heads, get to pick the cobs, get to roast the cobs with the husks still on them in a campfire, and get to shuck the roasted husks, and butter the ears, and then salt and eat corn so fresh and so delicious that it makes what agribusiness offers taste like a skunk.
Agribusiness has bankrupted the family farm, turned farming communities into ghost towns, and produced children who eat their rubbish and are oddly malnourished. Such children are not merely malnourished physically, but are strangely deprived, and disturbed mentally.
I get disturbed kids arriving at my Childcare, and don’t need to do any sort of psychological stuff to see them swiftly made better. They just hang around with me as I hoe, and watch as the plants shoot up until they tower, and finally munch corn on the cob. Sunshine, fresh air, and good food does a lot, but also contact with fundamental and rudimentary realities, such as how corn grows, gives children something agribusiness robs them of.
I don’t do a thing. The corn does it. Even things such as the worms organic corn has in its cobs, (which agribusiness’s corn lacks,) does something wholesome for children when they, with thair fascination, study such worms.
I reiterate that I do nothing, beyond recognizing and appreciating how beautiful is this gift called “corn,” and sharing it with little kids, during the sunny days of summer.
JUNE 2 —Gorgeous morning—
One of the few bad things about a morning this lovely is that you can’t write about it, because it calls you out to be in it. (That may explain why storms get more press.)
JUNE 3 —Brief heat—
A small boy broke his wrist at our Childcare yesterday, which tends to derange things.
Thunder to our west
A weak sea breeze may weaken these storms. I need to keep working until dark to take advantage of “thunder rain.” I’ll explain later.
JUNE 4 —Weakened rains—
A lovely sea breeze surged well inland in the afternoon yesterday, coming from milder waters south of Cape Cod and lacking the rawness of most back-door-fronts, and when that west-moving feature hit the east-moving line of storms, the static abruptly ceased on the AM radio. We got no thunder at all, but that doesn’t remove all the nitrogen lightning puts into the cloud’s water vapor, and the rains we got were likely “thunder rains,” and likely will promote a surge of growth.
After Childcare was done I planted 315 feet of corn and prepped some holes for seedlings, planting six cauliflower and six Brussels sprout plants before the swarms of mosquitoes drove me indoors. Then I stayed up late thinking and writing about the crazy EPA attempt to bypass voters and congress.
Strange, gloomy day, though an employee told me it was bright and sunny when she left her house this morning, only four miles to our northwest. She said it was like driving down into a fog bank by the sea. Though the showers continued weakly away to the east, it was as if the front itself stalled and came back west as a weak warm front. And in fact a warm front shows on the map:
That low to our south looks suspiciously like a summer nor’easter in the making. Also I am suspicious of the low way down in the Gulf of Mexico. The first tropical storm of the season?
The son of a friend dropped by to chat today. He works on a real money-making farm out in New York State. It was interesting to compare how they operate to how we operate on our Toy Farm here.
I got all the mowing done today, besides the ordinary Childcare stuff. I want mowing out of the way, so I can focus on planting. Making the place look tidy seems fairly useless, in terms of farming, though I suppose the cut grass does make good mulch.
I’ve decided flowers at the entry of a Childcare is a bad idea. The blooms seem to be a magnet for balls of all shapes and sizes.
JUNE 5 —Summer nor’easter—
Winds are still light and from the south, as the cold front that pushed past on Tuesday retrograded as a warm front yesterday, and now exists as an orange dashed line on the above map. However a new circulation is taking over, and winds have become calm in many spots, and are becoming light northeast airs at the coast. The rain is lifting north and reached us at eight o’clock, but all the small children at the Childcare were already dressed in their rain-gear, and headed off across the wet meadows on a hike, twelve splashes of color on the green background, zipping this way and that as the two elders walked more slowly, in a straight line.
I have a weekly meeting of church elders at the farm. We’ll likely discuss how the Sun shines, even when hidden by clouds.
This rain is watering my corn. Furthermore it is falling at sixty degrees. Any colder, and the seed can rot in the ground, so I’m lucky. It is best to look at the bright side, on a gloomy day.
Sun peeked out at sunset. Warmer weather ahead.
The storm is drifting out to sea, without the winds picking up from the northeast, so we’ve been spared the truly cold air from waters north of Cape Cod. Tomorrow the sun will shine with the amazing power of June, and once again our warmth will come on north winds, this time due to weak high pressure bulging down from Hudson Bay, rather than Labrador.
Children are very hard to care for on rainy days, and I didn’t get as much done in the garden as I had hoped. I did hill the potatoes. And the corn did get watered, though not by me.
JUNE 6 —Refreshing breezes—
The map shows yesterday’s rain drifting up into the Maritime Provinces, and our area getting the wrap-around clouds behind it, and refreshing breezes from the north.
I got one chore done this morning that I’ve been avoiding. A little grape vine I put in around five years ago has become a snarl that is turning a small pine into an arbor, which I don’t mind, but also is reaching up and grabbing the electrical lines into my house. I figured trimming the vines back from those wires would get me zapped, but either I’m still alive after getting the job done, or else the afterlife is indistinguishable from life. Best of all, the internet still works.
However cool breezes are the best winds to work in, so I can’t sit here dawdling.
JUNE 7 —Beautiful weather—
Did some rototilling, wheeled brown gold out into the garden, and planted four rows of beans, (green, wax and shell,)(total of 250 feet,) plus eight celery seedlings and six eggplant seedlings, and got ten hills of cucumbers in, (salad and pickling.) Prepped some squash hills, which I’ll work in tomorrow.
The sun was quite hot, but the north wind made it bone dry. The wind slacked off in the late afternoon. Tomorrow I imagine the sultry humidity will creep in, as winds shift to the south on the other side of the high pressure.
The soil is surprisingly dry. Despot heavy rains not far west and south of here, we seem on the edge of a drought.
Since I’m done planting corn, I’ll continue this series of posts with a new post at : https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/local-view-foxes-and-falling-behind/