The scholastic days of winter have melted and have been crowded out by needy baby vegetables and the beastly sweat of earth moving. My smokers jacket and monocle are neatly tucked into the winter clothing box replaced by soiled pants, straw hats and filthy socks. May is a month of planting, the moon of seed spreading, the rural dance that resembles a man hunched in the field.
Our planting schedule consists of three codes:
1) Direct Seed (DS): planting seed directly into the field 2) Greenhouse Seed (GS): planting into flats in the greenhouse 3) Transplant (TP): moving the greenhouse plants into the field.
Transplanting is laborious but satisfying; the field instantly turns from brown to green and the tactile vegetables calm the anxiety that can surround direct seeding - when all you are planting is potential. With a bit of hocus pocus sun, earth, and water alchemize into asparagus with béchamel and wilted arugula with gorgonzola.
In the video I am transplanting kale. The bucket is filled with compost, a handful is added to each hole to give the plants a fertile start to life. Quick thoughtful movement is demanded by the mountain of work that spring hurls at the farmer. This week we transplanted over 20,000 plants.