Getting Fields Under Control

Keeping weeds under control is priority number one at Lida Farm this time of year.  Now that the heat has finally come, all those weed seeds sitting in the wet ground have germinated, and, voila, a weed explosion hit the farm.  Foxtail, lambsquarters, red root pigweed, wild buckwheat are popping up all over, so we’ve been throwing everything we have to keep the little barbarians from taking over.  First we cultivate by tractor, then wheel hoe, then hand hoe, then, finally, weed by hand.  If you’ve ever feel like you can’t keep your garden free of weeds, imagine trying to do that over two and half acres where an acre is about 3/4 the size of a football field.

Still, the battle against weeds isn’t constant drudgery; there are little things to celebrate along the way.  One such milestone each year is the hilling of potatoes.  Typically this is done in June before the plants think about flowering, but, this year being what it was, I only got the job done yesterday; the field was too wet and the plants were too small all June.  For organic potatoes, we cultivate the crop twice by tractor and hoe so that the field is pretty clean of weeds before hilling.  Since a lot of farming is a real mind game, it’s that image that matters most and why I just love hilling potatoes.  When done, it just doesn’t feel like a little victory, but it’s a real beautiful sight.  
In the box: 
Napa Cabbage:
Greenleaf Lettuce 
Salad Mix 
A Little Broccoli: This is just coming in, so some of these heads are not what I want them to be, but, hey. 
Green Onions

We have been eating a lot of spinach the past few weeks, both raw and cooked.  Here is a recipe I found online that uses ground lamb and spinach in stew form.  All three kids ate everything in their bowls! No lamb?  I’m sure beef would work just fine too:

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