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This Week on the Farm 10/4
Well it is definitely fall in Wisconsin. It is in the 70s on the farm today and is supposed to hit the low 80s on Thursday on Friday. This past Friday and Saturday night we had temperatures in the mid-20s. Friday night we were able to prevent frost damage on the tomatoes and peppers by irrigating. It got down to 26.3 F for about two hours before it warmed up again. We trucked about x gallons of water over to the field and pumped it over the plants using our overhead irrigation.
By 10PM Saturday night it was already 36 degrees out. With clear skies and no wind the temperatures fell rapidly. We made the decision that there was no way we could irrigate for 6-8 hours and protect the tomatoes and peppers from a long frost.
We were able to save enough of the fruit to have one more week of tomatoes, eggplant, tomatillos, and peppers in your box, but the plants are dead and this will be the last of the solanaceous plants for this year (other than the potatoes).
We finally had a chance to pull the rest of the black bean plants from the field on Monday. We tried pulling the beans off of the plants in the field, but decided it was easier to pull the whole plant and then sit down in the shade to pull off all of the beans. We are waiting for the pods to dry off before we shell them. The best method I have found so far is to take a bunch of beans and place them in a 5 gallon pail. You then take the wide end of a baseball bat and pound the beans. It reminds me of churning butter in the olden days. This breaks the pods open and then you just have to sort out the unbroken pods and repeat. It saves on having to pry each pod open by hand.
This morning we pulled the bottle gourds and other ornamental gourds from the field. Once we move the last of the irrigation equipment out of the field we can disc the weeds and crop residue under and plant a fall cover crop.
In the next week or so the radishes and turnips should be ready to go. We have a pink globe variety of radishes for this fall. We also planted the French Breakfast radishes again this fall, but we pulled about a dozen today to test them and half of them were hollow. This happened last year to our fall radishes and is most likely due to irregular watering and hot temperatures. We have made a note of it and hopefully we will have better luck with them next year.
Thank you to everyone who sent in their survey from last week. We take them very seriously. For those of you who asked about whether or not we grow garlic here is the answer. Yes we did grow garlic this year, but organic seed garlic is so expensive that we had to buy a small quantity. We planted all of it out and are going to plant everything that grew this year, so that we can scale up our production. Hopefully next year we will have enough of our own to go in the boxes.