The most challenging day so far

September 13, 2017

The most challenging day so far

September 13, 2017

It’s on days like today that I have to remind myself that the CSA has only been running for 5 months and I am doing pretty well all things considered. More members are joining every week, I have my first employee, the veg are growing and things generally go according to plan. Except when they don’t. Except when things are totally out of your control and you just have to roll with the punches. Like today.

It was 33 degrees and extremely windy in Richmond today. We had a few bits and pieces left to harvest this morning but I had planned to do this early before the hot weather struck, then head to the shed to pack boxes, do a bit of bed prep with the tractor and be able to rest in the hottest part of the day before delivering in the afternoon and evening. A fine plan if you ask me.

However, I accidentally switched off my alarm yesterday so I got up 30 minutes late. But we still got the harvest done in time and packed away. At this point I tried to water the farm as the hot wind was drying out everything, only to find that the contractor pruning the hedges had hit one of the risers in the main irrigation line and water was spouting everywhere. With no pressure left for the sprinklers, or even the hose to water seedlings, it was a long four hour wait until the pipe glue dried and the line was in use again. Some water drums and a watering can saved the seedlings, but the newly sown seed in the 30 metre beds may not make it. We will have to wait and see.

As I began to do some tractor work I then looked over to see the end of the polytunnel blowing wildly in the wind and hoops lifting out of the bone-dry ground that just couldn’t hold them. The ropes holding the plastic down were flailing wildly. Worst of all the weed mat on the floor was buckling as gusts of wind threw seedling trays into the air and spilled 400 tiny brown storage onion seedlings onto the floor. I could have cried. Instead, I saved the trays I could, anchored the weed mat more firmly with extra pins and tamed the flying tunnel plastic, pushing the hoops back into the earth and tying the ropes down tight.

Once this was done and I had escaped from the 45 degree heat inside the tunnel, I turned to see thick black smoke rising into the air a few streets away. A bushfire, luckily under control, had broken out and sirens were blaring. I knew how they felt.  

The glue finally dried on the pipe and I could quickly water the seedlings and turn the sprinklers on. But this made me late for the deliveries, and some poor members ended up receiving their boxes at 7pm. It was one of those days. But we made it. Everyone has their veg and I can take a deep breath. As soon as I finish this newsletter. Tomorrow is another day.

Yours in veg,

Alice

 



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