19 July 2011

Our Fields on July 9, 2011

Here's a photo that may explain why I post so rarely during summer. We weed twenty acres by hand. So far this week, I've clipped, pulled, and stabbed something like two thousand Canada thistle and about six musk thistle. Since I get to stare at mountains and trees and horses while doing so, it's not all that much of a burden. In fact, despite the sweat and bugs, I rather enjoy it.

When we moved onto our twenty acres of clay, we knew nothing about irrigating or farming, but we knew we liked trees and didn't like chemicals. We had to spray once shortly after we moved in because the place was a thicket of Russian, Canada, and musk thistle, but since then the only chemicals hitting our land have come from paste wormers consumed by the horses.

I like natural and am actually a bit lazy, so instead of planting trees I envisioned them, and cottonwoods and willow came, sprouting in the lower field decades ago.

I took this photo just after calling the horses in from their evening grazing session. This year we've had abundant rain, abundant irrigation water, and overabundant runoff--expected and unexpected--from neighbors' fields. It's actually lush here for once and in July no less.