Around the farm

Harvest is in full swing, and Pine Island has three picking crews and one clean-up crew working as hard as they can to bring the crop in! But that’s not the only thing going on around the place.

Work continues on the care of the young beds, with New Production manager Mike Haines making sure our newly planted acres are getting everything they need. “I still get out there and check them every day,” he says. At this time of year, we’re not putting on fertilizer, but he likes to make sure they’re getting enough water. CEO Bill Haines strongly believes the most important part of being a grower is knowing your land and getting your feet in the bog, and Mike has taken that to heart. “Mostly, I’m getting out there to familiarize myself with how they grow; I check every day on the growth of roots and runners. That way I know for future reference how quickly they grow, and learn the cause and effect of each process.” He says it’s also highly interesting to see the relationship of different soils to water (we used mined sand for some of the new acreage, as opposed to what was already in the bed pre-renovation), and the subsequent effect on the plants.

Other ongoing tasks include preparing to install 2-inch underdrain at Old 11 Acre (“We need to wait until they’re nearly dormant,” Mike says. “The greener they are the more likely they’ll be damaged by the instalation), while the equipment team fills in the gaps between harvest repairs by servicing the Hydremas and other machinery not being used for the harvest. “Mostly we’re out there fixing the stuff they break,” says equipment team member Coco Mercado. “But in the meantime, we’re keeping busy and trying to stay ahead of the maintenance schedule!”

Welder Fren Henschel, in the meantime, is working on a new piece for the bogside cleaner, which he’s hoping to test ASAP!