Burning the Winter Away!


The rice fields here in California are saturated again after these rains in the first week of April. The tractors and equipment used for planting are all ready to go. Now we’re just waiting for the ground and weather to cooperate. As month started the rice fields looked just about dry.

Because of the rains we are unable to do any work. Luckily the week before we were extremely productive by burning levees to help rid them of dead weeds. These weeds can harbor pests. The weeds also don’t allow our ridger to work properly. The ridger is a piece of equipment that helps build back up the levees after they’ve been washed away over the winter.

Clara and I also visited San Francisco over the weekend and biked across the Golden Gate Bridge. We started at Fisherman’s Wharf and continued across the famous bridge and into the bay-town Salsalito. It was a beautiful weekend and a great thing to do when visiting San Francisco.

Full Transcript:

It looks dry on the surface, it’s cracked and light brown.

Down beneath the surface though very damp, just not dry enough. As Pops likes to say, “Hurry up and wait”. We rush to get the tractors ready but now the weather and grounds not cooperating.

Well just as it was looking as if the ground was going to dry out, it decided to rain. It’s the end of the first week in April and the ground is totally saturated again.

This isn’t detrimental however the later we get planted because of these spring rains, the further it’s going to push back our harvest and then we run the risk of running into winter rains which could be detrimental to our harvest.- And because it’s so wet out here, we really can’t do any work. However we were pretty productive the week before when we did have nice weather. Over the weekend, Clara and I went to San Francisco– went on a ten mile bike ride from Fisherman’s Wharf, across the city, over the Golden Gate Bridge– and down into Sausalito

Back here on the farm, we were doing some manicuring around the rice fields. Let me show you exactly what we were doing with levees.

This right behind me is the levee, of course the levees break the larger fields down into smaller sections. The levees help us with irrigation and water management. Over the winter, the water that’s helping decompose last year’s rice straw and rain wash away the levees. As you can see here, quite a bit has been eroded. We want to ensure the integrity of the levee throughout the entire growing season this year. So what we’re going to do is hook this ridger up to the back of a tractor, straddle the levee and use the disks to build the dirt back up and increase the structural integrity of the levee but before we can do that we first need to clear the levee of these dead dry weeds so that the ridger will work properly. And to that we’ll hop on the fourwheelers and use this forestry service burn canister and some burn mix to burn back those dead weeds.

So we’re taking the easy way out, there’s the Bay Bridge behind me. We’ve taken the ferry back to San Francisco rather than riding our bikes all the way back. The sun’s setting, beautiful view of Alcatraz, beautiful view of the city itself. I love this city man.

Well guys as you can see the chisels are all hooked up to the tractors, we were just about ready to go, the ground was just drying out, then this rain came. It looks like it’s going to go on through the weekend, I don’t know how long that’s going to set us back. Obviously I’m going to keep you guys updated, however right now I’m going to get out of the rain. Thanks for watching guys, see ya next episode.– Kids, fire is very dangerous and to help me get that point across, I’m with engineer Zerate at the Gridley Fire Department. Kids remember, don’t play with fire, respect fire, don’t play with lighters and don’t play with matches. And the only reason we were burning, is because it’s an intrical part to our farming operation. It’s not like I was out there just trying to have fun, so kids stay safe! Engineer Zerate thanks a lot man. You’re welcome Matthew.