You may be wondering what farmers do in April when they’re not in the greenhouse. While they may be doing seasonal maintenance on farm equipment in preparation for the summer, more likely they are starting work in their fields, provided said fields are dry enough for a tractor or a rotary tiller. Proper soil preparation of beds is important to ensure plants develop healthy and strong roots. But care has to be taken not to damage the soil; premature entry into a field in the spring when the soil is too wet can severely compact the soil. Compaction is something of a four-letter word in agriculture, a by-product of poor workmanship and/or unseemly impatience. That being said, sandy loam like ours is more forgiving (than clay, say), allowing for earlier soil preparation. After ploughing under last fall’s crops, a couple of passes with the vibratory plough in the past few days has broken up any remaining clumps, allowing us to prep the soil for this year’s vegetable beds. In coming days/weeks we will be direct seeding radishes, arugula, turnips, peas and carrots, among others – inaugurating the 2010 planting season in earnest. Stay tuned – in a couple of weeks, we’ll fill you in on the logistics of (biodegradable) plastic mulching.