Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Quiet, Sunflowers Germinating!

Four years ago, a piece of land was for sale in Greenfield about three miles from our farm. It was “river bottom land” which means that it is really good soil, according to The Farmer. He has always farmed hill land with lots of rocks and marginal soils including clay and shale. He always envied the valley farmer’s deep, rich soil. I must admit, I wasn’t too thrilled about adding to our debt load, but the land seemed fairly priced and you only live once. And they aren't making anymore land, as far as I know. I agreed, signed the paper and made him promise to grow me some sunflowers.

For three years, he has kept the promise. I didn’t think about the work it would entail, obviously. Here’s a picture of the field as it looks now. I’ll keep updating the blog as it progresses to sunflower heaven by August and September. Julia and I will harvest the flowers when they start blooming in August. We set up a little roadside self-service stand and try to re-coup some of the money we spend on seed.

The field is finally completely planted. July 11th is a record for lateness but it’s not too late. The weather hasn't cooperated, there has been hay to harvest and there's a business to try to keep up with. Once the plants start growing, there is no stopping them. Mark wants me to paint a sign that says “Quiet, Sunflowers Germinating.” I don’t know if I’ll get to it this year but it’s a cute idea. This sunflower thing is The Farmer’s Art – and I always like to encourage anyone’s art!

4 comments:

emily said...

I like the sign for the germinating sunflowers, but to make it sound like something a librarian might firmly intone, try adding please at the beginning. Can't wait to see the lovely blooms! What else does The Farmer grow on the river bottom land?

Alice said...

I grew up with a good size patch of river bottom land at one end of our farm. Oh the explorations my sisters and I made to the river over the years. Farming makes us remember where we stand in the whole wide world, there IS something greater than us.
I found you blog a few weeks ago and have become a daily visitor looking forward to your posts. Thank you.

Paula said...

Nothing like a field of sunflowers...

simmyb said...

I'd never seen a field of sunflowers until I went to India two years ago. We went to my parents'village in the Punjab for 2 weeks and just before we left the sunflowers came out. What a spectacular sight. Over there the people are fairly self sufficient and use the sunflowers to make oil.
I'm looking forward to seeing the pics when yours bloom.