Farmer Zippy's Notebook: Leeks!

Zippy, translated by Hannah
Thursday, July 3, 2014

Guess what I helped plant today! Look at the picture and see if you can figure it out. Grass? Nope, guess again! Onions? No, but you’re getting closer! These are baby leeks! Farmer Kelly and her helpers went out early this morning to plant them, and I got to help.

We planted a lot of leeks. Farmer Jess planted five thousand leek seeds in flats in the greenhouse so that we’d have enough. It took us all day to plant them out in the field.

Farmer Nicole used the tractor to till up the beds and make furrows in them. Then Farmer Sarah took a marking rake and went down the furrows and made marks every six inches, because that’s how far apart you plant leeks. At the same time, Farmer Kelly started taking the baby leeks out of the flats and cleaning the potting soil off, because Farmer Ike says they’ll grow better that way. Once she had enough ready, Farmer Amy and Farmer Hannah followed Farmer Sarah down the rows and planted the baby leeks. Lots of them.

My job was to dibble. Doesn’t that sound silly? It’s a real job, though! There’s an actual, professional tool called a dibble, and they keep one up in the garden shed. It’s about eight inches long, and it has a handle on one end and a metal point at the other. You stick the point into the bottom of the furrow and it makes a hole there – just the right size to put a baby leek in. The other farmers thought it would be a good job for me, because I’m so short, so they told me I could be the “Dibble King”, also known as “The Official Dibbler”. The other farmers are so tall they have to bend over to stick the dibble in, and they say it makes their backs hurt. We took turns with all of the jobs, though, because, like I said, we planted a lot of leeks. And dibbling all day would’ve made even my back hurt.

The leeks smelled really strong. Like onions, almost. My hooves still smell like them. We barely got them all in by the end of the day, and by the time we were done we were all really tired of seeing leeks. And of smelling them. They look really nice out in the field, though. They’re so cute. Farmer Lisa says, of course they’re cute – all babies are cute! And I think she’s right.

Now they have to be weeded, and watered (see the irrigation lines? They’re the black hoses I’m standing on (Shh, don’t tell Farmer Ike I’m standing on them! He might get mad . . .)), and then weeded and watered again, because it’s going to be a few months until they’re big enough to eat. Hopefully my hooves will be done smelling like leeks by the time we’re ready to harvest them!