Terrible start to the morning; started raining about 10 p.m. last night, and slow drizzle and some rain until 7 a.m. which would irretrievably clog the furrow maker. Much discussion ensued, and we decided to wait a couple of hours.
At 8 a.m., we decided to make a pass and see how it would actually go. So with Peter at the helm, Alec running boxes, and Margie and Collin on the planter, we managed to plant one full row of 170 plants, with 3 stops (every 50 plants) to take the accumulated mud off the furrow maker plow, which somewhat delayed production although we were able to proceed at a tidy 510 plants per hour–well on target!!
After several rows, we decided that the field was somewhat drier in the middle and it would be prudent to maybe try a full row before de-clogging, and that seemed to work.
As of noon, we have 2040 plants in the ground!! The target was actually 3000, but we were delayed by two hours.
It’s drizzly and miserable, but we are made of stronger stuff, with everyone in raincoats and rubber boots, we were fairly warm and comfy and not complaining.
Now, to make an assessment. Packing boxes full of the plants after trimming the tops, and making sure they were separated for ease of access, and then loading several boxes in the front end loader, with one ‘runner’ filling the trays? That worked very well. That same runner would also walk behind the planter and assure all plants were firmly in the ground, and there was a plant every 30-32″. Every couple of rows, we’d switch off duties, so each person would get a turn on the planter, and acting as runner or plant provider/unpacker, in turn. We finally were able to achieve a full row of 170 plants in about 12 to 13 minutes–with an ultimate goal of 10 minutes, or 6 rows/1020 plants an hour. Probably a little optimistic given the weather, but doable if it were warmer and drier out and there wasn’t so much clumping dirt everywhere. Pre-marking the rows last night was a worthwhile activity.
More later. Lunch is over. Hotdogs and cherry cheesecake (which Margie made) and lasagna in the oven for supper. Lots of hot coffee and drinks, and we’re ready to re-convene.