Make Hay While the Sun Shines

May 31, 2016

The planting season is in full swing and many farmers have already finished. For organic farmers, timing and location is even more important than for traditional farmers. They have to be very strategic about when the seeds are planted. One farmer told me he has to wait for just the right moment, after the weeds have had their first big growth spurt. He cultivates the weeds first, then plants the corn so it doesn’t have competition.


John, organic farmer from Iowa.

We have had continuous rain for the last several days and the weatherman is predicting continued rain through next week. This has complicated things for many farmers who are trying to get out in the field before June. It’s nearly impossible to work in a wet field. Not only is it hard on your equipment, but you might just get planted yourself out there and set yourself back! It’s best to wait. Farmers have to be ready at a moment’s notice – I guess you could say farmers are on call all the time. During the rain they can work on equipment and solidify a planting strategy. This is also a good time for doing some socializing!


Soggy Iowa fields after rains have swept the plain states.

In addition to farming, this time of year is spent attending graduation receptions, finishing up with school activities and making plans for the summer months. Our local farmer’s market is opening up this weekend and we are trying to determine whether or not we will participate. Dad and my sister Anne are also traveling to Missouri tomorrow to visit our friend Frank Reese and pick up a few chickens to add to our flock. Another friend of ours from Minneapolis is a teacher, and as part of his classroom instruction his class hatches chickens eggs. We reap the benefits from this hatching as they come to our farm to live with us. As you can see, there is a lot of activity on the farm. That’s why we say, “You’ve got to make hay while the sun shines.”

Spring 2016

Sarah Willis on the farm.

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