This Week on the Farm 6/19
No rain yet here on the farm. The weathermen keep telling us there are going to be widely scattered storms across the area, but so far none of them have come near us. Tyler is still out every day irrigating. The veggies are still holding on, but growth has slowed way down. We are keeping our fingers and toes crossed for some rain in the next week so that Tyler can get a break from irrigating and gets a chance to do other projects that need to get done.
We updated our Miscellaneous page on our website with instructions on how to care for you herb packs. Check it out if you have any questions about light/water requirements for your herbs.
Our peas and bean field looks fantastic. We had our high school workers out pulling the weeds that were right up next to and in between the plants. Then Tyler came through with the cultivator last night and cleaned up between the rows. That is by far the best looking field of peas and beans that we have ever had.
The peas and beans are starting to flower. It will be interesting to see how the peas produce with all of this hot weather. They tend to produce the best when the weather is cooler. We planted a lot of them, so even if they don’t yield well individually, we should be okay. Like everything else on the farm, it needs some more rain.
It will probably be the last week for arugula and bok choy until the fall. All of the 90˚+ days that we have been having have triggered the flowering process in both of those species. Once the plants start to flower the leaves turn bitter. This year we are going to make sure we till the arugula under. Last year we let it go to seed and this year we have volunteer plants everywhere. They have actually become a weed in some areas.
By tilling the arugula and bok choy under, we will have more room under the high tunnel for romaine lettuce transplants. This will give us space under the shade cloth for more lettuce. The shade cloth tends to keep it a couple of degrees cooler than out in the direct sun, which is very important for cool season crops like lettuce.
If the hot and dry weather sticks around, we think we are going to have to put smaller heads of romaine in the boxes for the early part of the season. Romaine and other lettuce, like the arugula and bok choy, will bolt if under significant heat stress. Bolting is more likely when the plants are larger and more mature. If we harvest the plants younger, we will be able to have lettuce in the boxes more frequently. We got a lot of comments last year about how much people enjoyed having lettuce in the boxes, so we are going to try very hard to have lettuce in at least half of the boxes this season.
In other news, the rabbits have gotten into some of the kohlrabi. So far they haven’t caused too much damage. It is just too hot to have someone out mowing the electric fence right now. Our dog, Wash, is not doing his part to keeping the critters away. I think it is just too hot for him to move around much during the day. In the late evenings we let him outside and he chases all over the farm sniffing for rabbits and squirrels. Except for the heat right now, it is a pretty wonderful life for a dog.
If you are a dog owner and you want to visit for a farm tour, we love having visitors and so does Wash!