Replanting at Parr Field and working the fields at Sol Feliz

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This morning we met at Parr Field to check on the milpa, prepared to plant some more sweet corn in the areas where no corn emerged.  It is a big question as to why crops don’t emerge after planting: maybe the seed was no good, maybe it didn’t get enough moisture, maybe it got too much moisture and rotted, maybe it came up and was instantly eaten by insects or rodents, etc…  We feel like we still have time to plant and get this crop to maturity before the fall, let us see what happens…  Other than the corn that didn’t come out, we have good establishment of beans, the squash looks good, and some of the peas are thriving…

Then we went to Sol Feliz where it was our turn to irrigate on the Acequia del Medio.  So as we were moving the water down the rows, we were also taking out weeds and grass in between the rows with hand tools, namely hoes and hula hoes.  The idea isn’t really to kill every weed that isn’t our crops, we just want our crops to be taller than the weeds.  We are also selective in our weeding.  Given that our crops have enough space to thrive, we will leave the quelites (wild spinach) varieties like lambsquarters and orach as well as medicinal/useful plants like yerba de la negrita and yerba del buey.  We might use these plants later or else they will just propagate themselves while holding on to our soil.

Another aspect of weeding is aerating the soil and bringing more soil to the bases of our crops.  I once heard a saying that went, ” Es mas importante escardar y arrimar la tierra que regar.”  Meaning it is more important to hoe weeds and bring soil to your plants than it is to irrigate…

Hopefully this isn’t our last irrigation, the water is flowing steady and strong, though significantly lower than in the weeks past…  In 2011 our last irrigation was June 20, so let us see how we fare with the water this year…

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About Miguel

Miguel Santistevan is a researcher, educator, and advocate for traditional agriculture crops and systems.
This entry was posted in Acequia Culture, AIRE, Parr Field, Sol Feliz Farm. Bookmark the permalink.

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