Today Eugene spent the morning getting half frozen beds hoed and prepped for planting seeds like spinach. The soil is very wet from all the rain/snow we have had over the winter so getting the early beds prepped has been a bit of a challenge. But we have found if you work the soil while it is partially frozen you do not destroy the tilth and the worked soil can dry out a lot more quickly than leaving it alone.
While he was doing that, I yanked 36 leeks out of the ground for an order for Miami University. Miami (of which I am an alum) which has started buying local food in the past 6 months or so. We sold them food last fall for a special dinner for the president of the University but did not go through the official channels to do this sale. It was just Frank Page, the Marcum Center Chef and an old friend who came out to the farm to buy Cornish hens and some other items. this time the order was from Paula Greene, the Associate Director of Dinning Services at Miami. So this meant paper work had to be filled out and filed and official looking invoices printed out (which I did not know until this morning my iMac has some great templates for invoices that add up your total and everything-sweet!). Around 2pm a van arrived from MU and the order of leeks, potatoes, rutabagas, garlic and parsnips was picked up. This was a timely order for us as the taters and rutabagas would not have made it to the next farmers market in 4 weeks and even though the parsnips would have been alright it is nice to have sold them out for the year. I would have liked it if Miami had needed 100 garlic bulbs instead of just 12 as they are getting into pretty bad shape as they are wont to do in the spring time.
After Miami went away I checked the seedlings saw the basil had to be put into bigger soil blocks so I made a batch of soil mix and made a tray of blocks and got the basil into them. now the basil can grow big and pretty and in 3 weeks will be ready to go out into a hoop house.
Between the Miami order going out and the end of prepping beds Eugene had started tearing the water pump off the van. He had gone back and forth for about a week as to whether or not he should do the work or take the van into a mechanic and let them do the job. He even made an appointment at Fudge's, the garage closest to us (about 3/4 of a mile south of us). Than on Saturday he decided to go and buy a water pump and put it on himself, canceled the appointment with Fudge's and is doing the work himself. So since noon he has been hard at work trying to get enough of the van apart to get at the old water pump and get it off and replace it with the new water pump. For a while I was "helping" him. Helping seemed to be standing in front of the van keeping the fan from moving too much while he took off bolts so something would come loose (the fan? I don't know nor really care-fixing cars is not my bag, baby). Oh, and listening to him bitch and moan about the whole affair while I kept quiet. I realize from living with him for the past 15 years or so that it is best to let him rant and not make what I think are great suggestions like take the van to the mechanic and let them deal with it. Eugene will get the job done and will feel good about it in the end and we will have the van back on the road. If we do not get the van running again than we are SOL as it is the only running vehicle we own.
But I have great faith in Eugene's mechanical ability. He understands how they work and knows how to use tools, read the Chilton's manual and he is a careful worker. The one thing I do not have great faith in is his getting this job done before the sun goes down. This should not be a huge problem as we don't have anything pressing to do tomorrow other than moving a couple of hoop houses so the cukes, zukes, tomatoes and basil have a place to be planted in April.
So that is our day, pretty typical