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turtles vs. tractors

May 30, 2009
This one got from the brook, across the field, and all the way to the top of blueberry hill.

This one got from the brook, across the field, and all the way to the top of blueberry hill.Notice the guiding light at right?

So far today the turtles have won. Apparently the conditions were right today for the mass migration of snapping turtles out of the swamps of Wellesley and Needham into the fields of Volante’s. This annual event usually begins the first week of June with a few mother turtles making their way up into the soft worked land to dig out a nest and lay their piles of eggs. I noticed a few nests at the Standish fields earlier this week, only because the coyotes had made a big show of finding them as well. Luckily for the turtles at the home field the nests are somewhat protected by the deer fence between the crops and the swamp, while we’ve got a coyote who likes to prowl around the edges, it doesn’t seem to care much for the openness.

Still, it was a shock today to find at least half a dozen turtles all over the place and at least 3 times as many nest sites. They were loving the warm sun and really motivated to get their eggs in the ground. Of course, today being so warm and sunny it was a prime day for us to get out in the field as well. As it turns out, snappers are quick, but only when they want to be. Many of our tasks today included idling time waiting for everything to happen in its due.

It only took her a few minutes to clear the flowers and broccoli, and then she waited. and waited.

It only took her a few minutes to clear the flowers and broccoli, and then she waited. and waited.

Ah well, the good news is that all of us–reptile and human–seemed to get it all accomplished eventually, even if my weed cultivation was often limited to the top inches of the field when going over the nesting sites, which once deposited just look like small flat circles amid the bumpy field.  I have to hope the same cultivation and scattering of soil on the surface will help disrupt the coyote noses in the coming days as well, buying the nests a few days extra.

Anyway in actual produce news, things are ripening , setting up, and leafing out just on schedule. Even the berries are starting to fill out and get a little bit of a blue hue. I’ll send out an update later in the week with what we expect to have on the stand Saturday morning. ripening blueberries

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