Sunday, April 29, 2012

New planting at someone else's farm.....

After months of preparation, we finally have some new plants to talk about.  That's a portion of them up above taking the 6 mile ride (in the back of my car) to their new home, a vacant greenhouse that was once set up to grow tomatoes and then sweet potato plants.

The borrowed greenhouse belongs to a fellow farmer, Andrew Tyson, who grows tobacco, sweet potatoes, soybeans, wheat, and cotton.  Andrew rents our farmland and a number of other farms in Nash and Edgecombe Counties.  During the fall, Tim drives a cotton picker for Andrew.  Tim spends about 12 to 15 hours a day sitting in (and/or working on) a cotton picker and calls that time of year his vacation.  (I don't get it....he's working....oh, it's a vacation from me and tomatoes!)

When we started the project, Jonathan and Daniel were sent over to clean and take down the unnecessary pieces and parts, move poles and supports and anything else that Tim saw necessary to do.  There were lots of trips to the dumpster and an ongoing battle with "fire ants".  They aren't necessarily attracted to the tomato plants (we hope), but who wants to share an enclosed space with fire ants? 

After what seemed like weeks of cleaning, the blank slate was left for the coconut fiber bags, the water lines and drippers, and then the new plastic cover.  We waited to put the cover on after most of the work was done inside.  The reason for that is that with the winter and early spring were so warm that the temperature would have soared inside the space causing the fans to run unnecessarily to cool the area.  For Jonathan and Daniel, being exposed to sustained winds and gusts on some of those blustery cool days, made them especially thankful for the comfort of our near tropical climate inside our existing covered structures back here on our farm.
Jonathan running a weed eater inside the greenshouse, trying not to disturb the ants
Bare bones greenhouse 
Daniel handling trash and more trash
New cover is finally on, plants set inside the bags and......
Lights inside the greenhouse so we can work at night....woohoo!

Tiny little baby plants