|Onion Harvest A Few Years Ago|
We finally got the cover up over the canopy. For two days the thing sat there empty. Then I parked my car under it so Mandy and I would have a nice, cool car to jump into when we went to the KwikStop. My chalkboard advertising Kickapoo Center Onions, "NO CHEMICALS, ORGANIC FERTILIZER, was propped up in the garage. There were bunches of washed onions on a work table next to the sign. At the bottom of the chalkboard, I wrote 75 cents/bunch. Then I went in the house to collapse. It is 5:30 pm and I've just harvested one of our onions plots, laid them out in 30 foot rows in the grass next to the plot, weed whacked the pigweed with my Stihl, and brought out the Troy-Bilt horse to till the dirt. "Ain't that pretty", I said to myself when I went inside.In my head, I visualize the money I'll make.
A half hour later I go back to the open garage and all but one bunch of washed onions are gone. "We been robbed," I rush into the house and tell Dawn. She hurries out with me to view the crime scene. Curiously, the thief ignored two Stihl chain saws, two weed eaters and various tools like my Dewalt portable drill. Under the old fashioned kitchen scale I use to weigh bunched onions are three one dollar bills. Dawn reminds me that this is the way people do business in the area. They'll put out an assortment of whatever-firewood, pumpkins, bakery-veggies next to a collection box. People take what they want and leave money. It's called the honor system. Jorge says the system is slowly disappearing. In the fifteen years he's lived here, he's noticed a decline of collection boxes. Sigh.
Sigh. The main reason I went to the computer is to check the NWS forecast. Should I irrigate the crops? Yesterday I hung laundry, watered the corn and left the car windows open. It rained seventeen drops on our way to buy cat treats and chicken leg quarters. Today, after an amazing dawn sky spectacular of red and orange and gray cumulus clouds, I went back to bed to dream of cutting onion tops. The kids were left outside to guard the place. It's dirty sheet gray right now. The weather forecast office in LAX ( Lacrosse) says slight chance of rain. The cukes will still be shaded by the trees at the east fence line. I will begin the watering process, which because of the next week's forecast is mandatory. They ran out of colors for warnings on the weather map. Starting on Sunday, the high temps will range from 93 to 95 degrees for the period Sunday through Thursday. Shoot. There goes my fun.
Like a mother hen, I worry about extremes. I worry about the grass snake that's living in the now defunct broccoli patch. Yesterday I harvest two-four pound cabbages to take to town for a special order and my friend the snake comes out from under leafy broccoli and stares at me. He's the reason we haven't had much trouble with cabbage loopers. Under one cabbage leaf at ground level, I find a complete empty snakeskin with yawning jaws. I know he'll find shelter under the wild pumpkin vines on the compost pile. I'm hoping he'll head for the potatoes for shelter.
So, unless it rains, I'm offline for a week.