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Field Notes // Early May 2021
Spring in Rogue River is truly spectacular. The valley smells of lilacs and wildflowers. The air is a crispy cool in the mornings, but by four o’clock the heat settles in and we can feel it all over our skin. Pops of yellow and orange appear along the roads. The sun hits our shoulders and we feel its warmth with the promise of long days ahead for our CBD hemp flower. The farm dogs linger under the shade of the trees or around parked tractor tires, their tongues hang loose.
It’s the season of preparations. The season of rejuvenating the ground from the long (yet bearable winter). The season of growth and transformation. We’ve been busy the past couple of weeks; cultivating the fields, freeing it of weeds, using our Celli rototiller to turn the soil to get it ready for planting.
We have about 70 acres to work with this season. Seventy acres of cultivation equals a lot of sweat and humanpower. Our crew has been busy in the fields, turning the soil and enjoying this mid-spring sunshine.
This week, our goal is to finish bed-shaping. We’ve shaped one field with our bed shaper--a machine hooked off the tractor back that forms uniform beds for the whole field. It’s a beautiful thing to watch take shape, to think of giant earthen beds to house thousands of little seedlings that will grow and produce flower for you to enjoy. We take pride in these fields and everything they represent.
The second field we’re working is along the Rogue River (the first one is too, just down the road). Large rocks are scattered throughout the field. We’ve been walking the fields well into the afternoon to clear the soil of rocks that could potentially harm any of our machines. We’re taking the bigger rocks and using them as barriers around the t-posts and along the fence. It’s a tedious job, but it needs to be done. Thinking seasons ahead is important as a farmer, planning for all the potential hazards and doing everything in our power to prevent them. We know we can’t contest with mother nature, but we can work strategically around everything else.
It’s our fifth growing season in this field (our 10th in Southern Oregon), and each year we build upon the last, tweaking this and that, working from experience to make things as efficient as possible for our plants and for our crew. It’s always a work in progress, but we enjoy the fine tuning and doing the best we can.
By Friday, the beds should be shaped. Our greenhouse is filled with tiny seeds ready to germinate any day now. We hope to get to planting in a couple of weeks. It’s an earlier start than usual, but we are near ready to get those lil’ seedlings tucked into their well-shaped (and well- loved) beds and watch them grow.