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This Week on the Farm 6/25
You may have seen on the news that a tornado touched down near Rio on Saturday night. Thankfully it was to the south of us and we didn’t have any significant wind damage. Only one box elder tree came down in the wind, and it did not hit any of our buildings.
We have had a lot of rain this past week, though. Since last Friday we have had 5 and 1/2 inches of rain. That is more than we had from May thru July last year! I never would have thought last year that I would look at the sky and ask for dry weather and a little wind to dry out the soil!
This spring has been the wettest that we have experienced since we started farming. It brings with it a lot of different challenges. The main challenge being that it is too wet to get any of our equipment into the field, so mechanical cultivation is out of the question. This means a greater reliance on hand weeding. With the amount of acreage that we are farming this year, hand weeding most likely will not be able to keep up with all of the weeds, especially if it continues to rain at this rate. So, we are focusing on the crops that don’t compete as well with weeds, like carrots, and keeping our fingers crossed that it will dry out at some point and we can get back into the fields with our 1950s era tractors.
This is why it is so important that we have Volunteer Days like this coming Saturday to help us tackle larger areas. As they say, “many hands make light work,” and there sure is a lot of work to be done on a farm!
We have already lost some areas to wash out with all of the rain, but since we over planted a lot of the crops (we were planning on another drought), we should still have enough of everything once they are to a harvestable stage to put those crops in the CSA boxes. The areas with the most damage are in fields that we added this year. We had no idea going into this season where washout might occur, so next year we will know where the damage is likely to occur. Next year we are going to put in grass waterways to help prevent erosion and prevent more washout.
Luckily for us, much of our soil is either very sandy, or mostly sandy. Although our farm is surrounded by marshy areas, the land that we cultivate is located at a higher elevation. Flooding has not been as much of an issue for us as for other farms. One of our fellow members of FRESH Food Connection had the road closed to their farm this weekend because of flooding. Thankfully for us, usually within a day or two any standing water has permeated the soil. But, even sand will become saturated with enough rain and plant growth will suffer.
Onto vegetable news, the snow peas are in heavy production mode. With the trellising we put up this year it looks amazing! The sugar snap peas are not as far along, but hopefully by next week they should be ready to be harvested. The dreaded Colorado Potato Beetle is back, so in the next couple of days we are going to have to power up our gas blowers on the vacuum setting and start sucking up the immatures. It is a gooey job, but one that needs to be done since we don’t use chemicals to control them.
Some of the summer squash have started to flower. We also have a few fruits on the tomato plants in the high tunnel. Technically summer has begun, but it only feels like summer once the cucumbers and peppers start producing. With some heat and some drier weather, all of those crops should start putting on size in the next couple of weeks!