Newsletter 5/2/18 – It’s harder to get going than to keep going!
I was talking to John, tractor and maintenance lead, the other day. We were discussing yet another recent equipment breakdown and lamenting how things always seem to breakdown in the spring, just when we need them. He made the observation that in general, it is harder to get going than to keep going. Like in the spring, we suddenly bring dozens of pieces of equipment out of hibernation and expect them to do their thing when they’re a little sleepy and not particularly wanting to work. Sound familiar, like when you first get out of bed in the morning? There is the law of inertia at play here- an object in motion is easier to keep in motion than moving an object from rest to motion. Turns out this applies not only to each of us, but also our tractors and other equipment.
In the spring the stakes are high; we are using a lot of equipment to accomplish our goals in short periods of time. It is not unusual for there to be a two-day weather window and in order to move towards planting, we need to be working up the ground, spreading amendments, laying out beds, putting down plastic or drip tape, and on and on. If any one piece of equipment needed is out of order, then the whole show grinds to a halt, and John is in the shop doing repair rather than on the tractor moving our fields forward. Since we are using so many different types of equipment this time of year, the likelihood of something having a problem is high, and statistically reasonable to expect.
So even though between physics and statistics, we should be prepared for these inconveniences, the fact is they are still frustrating! Spring often feels like one step forward, two steps back. Looking around at our fields dotted with small but happy plants, it is obvious that we are moving forward and making progress. Yet it is hard to accept how much time we spend fixing things when we could be accomplishing even more.
Today is a shop day as we give the soil another day to dry out from the weekend rain. John is busy fixing things and doing maintenance, getting ready for a big equipment day tomorrow. As a farmer, it’s always easier to focus on what needs to be done than what has been accomplished. And yet, looking around and looking forward, we’re doing pretty good! The rest of this week looks promising, the plants in the ground are healthy, and John is getting to know the ins and outs of the equipment in a way only repairs can teach. Ready, set, go!
What is green garlic?
Although green garlic (sometimes called Spring garlic) sounds mysterious, the truth is that it’s the young version of the garlic that we all love. Before your garlic divides itself into separate cloves, it starts out as a green plant, with a stalk, leaves and the garlic scapes. All of which is edible! The green garlic is less intense in flavor than the full-grown version but is still delicious and can be used in a variety of ways. Try it braised, sauteed, grilled or pickled. Yes, pickled! Give it a try. It’s also very good raw in salads, compound butter, and dressings. It has a short season so enjoy it while you can.