Saturday, February 28, 2009

Starting the season



Throughout this blog I want to vary the posts with a mix of farm information, aphorisms, thoughts, ideas, rants, beliefs and a bit of dribble. I hope you find it of some value.

It's the beginning of the new season here at the farm. We started the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants inside the house under fluoros, about a week and a half ago. They will stay under 24 hours of light and go through re-potting for about four to six weeks before being transferred to the greenhouse. We learned from last year how tomatoes do not mind brisk temperatures anywhere near as much as peppers do. And, that eggplant truly dispise the cold. So, tomatoes go to the greenhouse first, followed by peppers a few weeks later, and finished up a week later by eggplants.
However, with farming there are many variables that must be added into the equation when setting a date to transplant into the greenhouse. Some years, snow and freezing temperatures will continue to the end of May. P.S. do not think our town weather, Jordanville, is the weather we have. In most cases we are a good 5 degrees cooler and much, much more windy. Last season, we had snow and very cold temperatures Memorial day weekend. Though the greenhouse is heated with a wood furnace, very cold temperatures creep in close to the sides and cause havoc with plants of a more sensetive nature. We are combatting that this season with plastic tunnels being placed inside the greenhouse over the plants. The picture above (last years) shows the greenhouse in Late March with new transplants. Notice how close the pepper transplants are to the side? That was a mistake. As they grew they did not have enough space before they hit up against the plastic.

It is amazing to behold a seed, often quite diminutive in size, sprout and grow into a twelve foot tall tomato plant. Present, but dormant in the seed, is the template, the essence, of what it is to become. Life sprouts from what in all appearences seems stagnant or even perhaps dead. Yet it is far from dead. A depth of knowledge built up from seasons upon seasons of refinement resides in the seed. Renewal of the plant starts anew.

The start of new life-the plants-helps renew my belief that the world, though it is in a most cold, repressed and dying state, will in fact swing back to vibrancy. Hegel's concept of the dialectic eplains in philosophical form what I observe in nature. All states of life are necessary and temporary. Life begets death begets life. Remove either and the system collapses. The cold Winter's up here kill off the weak and the strong alike. But behind the scene, in the ground, inside caves and trees and under the water, life awaits in a catatonic like state, for Spring. The flush of life so much a sign of the new season, of Spring, could not have come about without the cold and death Winter imposes. Does that mean something is behind the two opposites, behind life and death, behind the outward signs of the living world and universe? What keeps the extremes in check? Another set of rules? Another puppet-master? At some point in time, the layers of rules must end and something must impose its categorical will on the system. With that being said, I--a part of the system hopefully on the living end growing end for some time--end this post.

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