The past couple days, we have been out in Potter Valley planting crops, weeding, cultivating, irrigating, and really getting into the ground there.
At the Hale Ranch at Mid Mountain and East Road, we’re growing winter squash for the Winter CSA, melons and watermelons, sweet corn, and dry beans.
Here you can see the winter squash that Adam cultivated between rows with the two-wheel tractor, and Paula hoed around in-row. Afterward, we watered them and in one day, we noticed a lot of growth.
Over at 3WG Ranch, we had a very challenging past couple weeks. Basically, we weren’t sure if we’d be able to get the hay out of the pasture in time for us to start irrigating and get our sheep over there. Right now, the sheep do not have anything green to eat at Heart Arrow Ranch, and buying food for them is expensive and unsustainable. The long story short, we have been able to get hay baled or in the process of getting baled, and we’ve started to irrigate the pasture. The canal system in Potter Valley is quite impressive, and we’re having fun with the flood irrigation (as well as our dogs, especially on these hot days).
Yesterday evening and today, we have been picking up hay bales out of one parcel by hand and into a dump trailer as the neighbor did not have time to give us a lesson on using the hay bale wagon. (If you did not know, there is a specific vehicle/machine for picking up and moving hay out of a field. You can see a few if you drive around Potter Valley.) We want to irrigate that parcel soon, as we are irrigating the field next to it. And the sheep want to come out here soon!
Irrigating and cropping in Potter Valley is vastly different from farming on the hill at Heart Arrow Ranch because (1) irrigating is less expensive, and (2) its is FLAT which means more mechanized cropping.