To Rain or not to Rain

Alright so before I get started on this blog post I think I need to add in a little disclaimer.  I actually have four or five different blog posts going at one time.  I write them out in my head while I am driving at work or trying to go to sleep, then I sit down, and type a bunch of stuff down.  I don’t really get to finish the post off and then publish it, so it sit for awhile.  That might be why you may notice some of my blogs are “behind”  So if your reading this and you think hey it’s raining cats and dogs outside, please don’t think I am crazy.  I promise when I originally wrote the start of this blog it hadn’t rained.  Plus you may notice as your reading the rest of my blogs for this growing season that I will probably stay behind what is really going on.

As the saying goes when it rains it pours, or I guess I should say when it doesn’t rain it doesn’t pour.  My part of North Carolina had a bit of a drought during the month of May.  We didn’t have a single drop of rain for about 30 days and all the crops were starting to look really thirsty.  Rain is an integral part of the farming process and without it we were starting to have some problems.  Things really weren’t critical, because May isn’t always our wettest month.  So we sort of expect to not have loads of rain, but once we do get rain, we are going to be incredibly busy.  First we have got to get soybeans planted, which I really don’t help much with.  There is still corn left to be planted and barley to be harvested.  All this would have worked out so that we wouldn’t be doing it all at once if rain would have happened sooner.  Then on top of all that, we are about a week away from our sweet potato slips being ready to plant.  We looked at the slips yesterday and they are looking perfect.

photo 2 (3)

photo 1 (3)

Please do not look at my messy yard and my horrible photography skills.  But these are what the slips looked like about three weeks ago.  Now they are the perfect height to cut!  I am so excited that all of our hard work has payed off.  We are ready for year two with sweet potatoes.  My hubby has been working long hours to clear our fields and make the beds.  The worst part about planting sweet potatoes is that once we start planting it will be all hands on deck.  We have hopes that it will go much smoother than last year!  I am a little stressed that all this will be happening while I am finishing up school.  The end of the year for a teacher is pretty busy.  I am sure I will be blogging more on all the craziness later!


Plant 2015

We have really really been very busy.  I honestly haven’t had time to even think about trying to sit down and write down everything that has been going on.  This always feels like the busiest time of the year for me and my hubby.  Well Spring and Fall are probably both equally busy, but Spring is a pretty tough time.  Things have to be planted and things need to be harvested.  We have lots of stuff going on right now, I don’t even know if I can remember it all to get it down on a blog post.  First off the grain corn had to be planted.  Even though my hubby does that every year, each year still ends up being so different.  This year we had a lot of rain and cold weather right around April 15(the target date for our area)  So it put him planting later than he wanted to plant.  It worked out though because some people we know had to replant.  He then moved on to getting fields ready to plant soybeans.  He hasn’t planted any yet, but he is working on it.  The other major project that we have is sweet potatoes.  They never really went away this year.  I honestly thought when we started this project, we would finish up around Christmas.  We were still boxing up potatoes in February and in March we moved on to sorting them for seed.  The small potatoes that are too small to sell are used to replant to get the sweet potato slips.  We decided this year to try out growing our own slips and if it worked, we would know we could do it again.  It is much cheaper to grow your own slips than to buy them and we are looking for ways to improve our inputs all the time.  So to make a sweet potato slip, you have to start with making sweet potato “beds.”  This means you push dirt up into a little hill and place all the seed potatoes on it.  Then we covered the potatoes with dirt and plastic.  The plastic is to keep them warm, because in April it is still too cold for potatoes to really grow.  Once the weather warmed up, the plastic came off and they are really growing now.  I didn’t take any pictures of the process when we were actually making the beds, so I can’t really show you what it looked like.   We are still behind where I thought we would be because of the weather.  It’s amazing how you don’t really pay attention to the weather until your livelihood depends on it.  Then you start obsessing over it.  We still have a good ways to go before our planting season is finished.  Last year we planted all our sweet potatoes around June 15th, so that’s our goal this year.