Sprouts, a sign of patience and hope among farmers

There was a lot of green! And, green colours help make farmers happy.

I noticed new life on the farm two weeks after I planted seeds and seedlings. Some of the seeds had germinated while the seedlings had acquired more green matter. The first sprouts were from the Amaranth and Fenugreek seeds. As days went by, sprouts from pumpkins, spinach (Swiss chard), kidney beans and beetroot seeds appeared.

Rainfall was erratic in the later part of May and early June, so I had to visit the farm to sprinkle water using a watering can until around mid-June when the rains became more frequent. 

It has since rained almost every other day, followed by a drastic change in temperatures especially between night and day. The result was that I had no reason to travel to water the seedlings. I spent the saved time to worry that the rain would drown my tender vegetables.

Sprouts bring hope and a lot of work to farmer households

My vegetable farm is located 20 minutesā€™ drive from where I live. The result is that I only get to visit once or twice a week. What I like about the farm being faraway from my daily view is the surprise of seeing change each time I visit, unlike farm families who notice every bit of minor change as it occurs.

I was brought up on a rural farm. What I recall is that there was little to be done once the seed was planted in the months of February and March. Work for family members started with the first sprouts.

Livestock and birds of the air and of the homestead had to be kept away from feeding on the tender sprouts or mature crops. Who could run faster, to chase away the feeders before they ate the tender crops? The task ended up with children and youth within households. Could be one reason April was a national school holiday month.

The more innovative young people lessened their tasks on the farm by carving out scarecrows and placing them at strategic places, mainly closer to a farm fence and at the middle of a farm. Those who preferred to use voice practiced and mastered distinct types of whistling to scare away the birds, while others relied on catapults to target sticks and pebbles.

My urban farm

I was very happy with what I saw in mid-June, a lot of sprouts and weeds. I removed most of the weeds by hand to avoid damaging the tender sprouts through the use of farm instruments such a hoe.

Does that mean I have become a farmer? The goal of most human beings is happiness, more so when they see the result of their work. To a farmer, sprouts and seedlings are a sign of better things to come. What else does a farmer wait for other than signs of a good harvest from their challenging work on a farm?

Am I concerned that birds will feed on my tender vegetables? Last season I did not see any birds or destruction caused by birds or animals, so I assume will be the same this year.

What else did I engage in while waiting for my vegetables to mature?

I have leased a line of raspberry shrubs for two seasons. I used part of my waiting time to prune for the raspberries.

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Until my next farm activity, what is your experience of farming in an urban area? Did you notice as the seeds sprout or were you surprised to find your garden covered by numerous seedlings?