Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Farming in the Skagit Flats

The Skagit River tumbles out of the Cascade Mountains and then creates a broad, fertile delta -- that's where I live, on the Skagit flats -- best farm land in the country, put a broom stick in the ground and it will sprout, dig half way to China and you won't find a rock.

Not all that rosy, we are at ten feet above sea level and surrounded by dikes -- it has flooded here a few times.

But then again, floods go away and leave the soil a bit richer.

In late October the farmers are still out in the fields. The Roozen family is planting tulips, we're talking about hundred of acres of tulips, not your small garden, but on a commercial scale, so they haul out bulbs by the truckload and load them into the planter, and put them in the ground -- The tulips will bloom in glorious color next April.

They're still harvesting potatoes. The potato harvest stretches out over two months because there is no hurry -- Potatoes can sit in the ground all winter and it won't hurt them a bit. This give the potato farmer the luxury of not having to work around the clock to get a crop in -- he can even knock off for bad weather.

The wheat planted last month in our field on Beaver Marsh Road is almost 3 inches tall. It will grow a little bit more and then just sit there all winter -- not growing in the winter, but ready to take off first thing next spring.

They planted wheat across the road from us just last week, so I guess it's not too late for that.

And, I suspect, but need to ask questions in order to confirm -- that the farmers are planting a lot more wheat around here this year. Could be that $9 a bushel price for wheat on the futures market -- more than double what it was last year.

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