This Week on the Farm 7/27
The weather certainly has been nicer this week. The heat and humidity finally broke and we aren’t as miserable when we are out working in the gardens. It is still pretty darn hot out there, but before we know it the days will be cooling off and we will be wearing sweatshirts.
Tyler and our workers spent Monday and Tuesday morning pulling big weeds. They weeded the rutabaga, beets, and Swiss chard on Monday and weeded the majority of the cabbage on Tuesday. Although big weeds are a large problem, they are more fun to pull.
We have also worked on weeding the new planting of loose leaf lettuce, celery, and our planting of carrots. The carrots take a long time to weed. Since our first planting of carrots failed to germinate (we think the seed was planted to deeply and then it rained really hard) and we planted the second batch a little late, the weeds seem to have had a head start. The carrots we have rescued from the weeds look good, although several weeks behind where we would like them to be.
The potato plants are starting to die back, which is a good sign at this time of year. The plants were healthy the whole season and we didn’t notice any signs of disease. There are several diseases that can affect potatoes that are really problematic and that can stay in the soil for a very long time. We have been lucky the past two years as far as disease.
We have to get our potato harvester cleaned and greased up so that it is ready to start harvesting potatoes in the coming weeks. We decided not to dig them by hand again this year. With twenty rows of potatoes it would be back-breaking work. We will hopefully post some video of us harvesting once it is time to harvest.
We have a lot of green cherry tomatoes. As you may recall, we lost our first crop of tomato plants in the green house to bacterial spot. After destroying every single plant, we reseeded and then transplanted the plants outside. The plants are looking really good and are not as far behind as they were last year when the same thing occurred. We are looking forward to trying some of our new varieties in the next couple of weeks once they are ready.
The peppers are also starting to set fruit. This afternoon on our walk through the fields we noticed a nice crop of jalapeños and some small bell peppers. We also noticed that the field needs to be weeded again. It seems like you go to bed at night and the weeds grow a foot, sometimes two.
There are a lot of blossoms on our summer squash, so we are looking forward to a nice crop. We figured out that we need to harvest this variety of summer squash when it is much smaller than the type you buy in the store. It gets very seedy and slightly hollow when it gets large. I am pushing for a new variety for next year.
A note on the patty pan squash: patty pan squash are supposed to be harvested when they are no more than two inches across. You may notice that a lot of our patty pans are larger than that and there is a very good reason. We do not have a large cooler or refrigeration unit on the farm. Since it is our second year and we are building a business from scratch we don’t have the ability to buy a nice refrigeration unit. Everything in your box is picked the same day you pick it up. This means that a week passes before we harvest, so some things, like the patty pan, get a little bit larger than they are supposed to be. They are still edible, just scoop out the seeds if you get a really large one. Hopefully in the next year or two we will be able to buy/make a walk in cooler.
We need HELP! If you are free on Saturday, July 30 from 9AM to 1PM and would like to help us out with some projects we would love to see you! The morning will start with a short tour of our west field, then on to work. Lunch will be provided for all of your hard work! For more information or to say you will be there, contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 920-992-3643. Thanks!