Skalitsa Village Farm - Planning Crops

Back to the Skalitsa farmhouse and jobs on the farm were waiting. There had to be potatoes sown (yes more). Not knowing what the weather was like we knew that generally it is always different from the Yambol weather even though just 35 kilometres away and we never usually know until we get there.

Arriving is always exciting here in the village, it had been six days since I was last here and the onions and garlic were making a move skywards already, the tuliups had began to open their head and the bird life was deafening around us. A stork had already taken up residence in a local telegraph pole and the whole scene was about to burst into life. Galia now having seena stork placed here Martenitsi on a lilac tree with the others we had put there from the past years.

Looking at the ground, there must have been a lot more snow yesturday than in Yambol, it was too heavy to work with even though the very warm sun had been drying it out for a couple of days. Therer wasn't much I could do as far as planting and digging was concerned to my attention fell on the black covering that had lay on an extended part of the land for a year.

The plan was for each year to cover a section of land each year with the black nylon material to stop the grow of lucerne and couch grass, then each spring uncover it and another section will be ready for putting crops effectively the area for growing will be bigger each year.

As I uncovered the strip on turned it over for another strip to become ready next year, the area left was perfect now for digging over and planting, but far to wet, it would have to wait another day or so to dry out. Now this method is my own English method and looked upon as very strange from neighbours who query what I do. All they would do to prepare fallow land is plough it up with either a tractor or a horse and plough prior to winter, and another session prior to April, the frost would have also done the business and it's ready for planting in spring. I suppose I should succum to this method which was used in my first year here, but it's about getting this system organised and only being here a couple of days a week makes that quite tricky. Besides which, my neighbours would have certainly taken over telling me that the whole area should be farmed - Not what I want, but as usual they always know what is best for me.

By the end of the weekend and a little drier all the working areas were prepared for the sweetworn, two melon varieties and pumpkins. All these could go without water for up to a week and less stress on my part. Also the strawberry patch was weeded, there was a 70% success rate of the newly planted seedlings from the autumn, not too bad. the runners that form later in the spring will fill in the gaps so no worries there. Again, they can survive a while without water in the summer as they have established quite deep root bases now and they will be under the shade of the vines leaves overhead that will form a canopy by the end of spring.

It is all about organising and choosing the right crops for the right growing environment. Hopefully the thought that has gone for the Skalitsa farm will make me sleep better in Yambol knowing that the crops have a good chance of survival this year with minimum maintenance.
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