This Week on the Farm 7/24
It rained!! Last week Wednesday we got a little less than a third of an inch of rain. Then early Tuesday morning this week two systems moved through and we got about an inch total. Needless to say, we are super excited that it rained!
We are still about 5 inches below average for rainfall since June 1st. This rain will help enormously, but, sadly, the plants don’t set fruit overnight. Hopefully this rain will help the plants develop for the next several boxes. Our cucumbers, patty pan, peppers, eggplant and tomatillos are all almost ready to go and just need adequate rain to set and develop harvestable quantities. The boxes are going to be small for awhile yet, but if we keep getting rain that will help with all of our fall plantings and the boxes toward the end of the season will hopefully be bigger.
Onto all of the stuff we got done this last week. We tore down all of the pea trellises and worked the soil up in that section of the field last week. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would to pull all of bamboo stakes and jute out. We did learn that next year when we plant sugar snap peas we need to have taller trellises. The bamboo worked well for the snow peas because they are more compact, but the sugar snap pea rows were a jungle to walk through.
After the trellises were removed, we planted a fall planting of beans. We planted the Italian flat bean and a type of French filet bean. We have never planted beans for a fall planting before. Some of the resources we use said that a fall planting works really well, others don’t talk about planting beans for a fall crop. I am very interested to see how they turn out.
Our first planting of beans did not produce as many beans as we initially thought they would. The sections of the rows near the woods produced a lot more beans than those out in the sun all day. That goes to show how even a little bit of shading will help keep moisture in the soil.
In other farm news, we weeded the eggplant, tomatillos, and about half of the peppers this week. We also weeded about half of the planting of tomatoes. The tomato plants that survived transplanting look really good. They are putting on size rapidly. We didn’t get our tomato plants in until July 4th, so for only being in the ground for three weeks, they look really good.
This is the third year where we have had to destroy our first crop of tomato seedlings because of disease and replant our tomatoes later than your average grower. This means that this is the third year where our tomatoes won’t be in the boxes until mid- to late August. Last year, we felt that we actually had better production planting them later than a lot of other people in the area did planting them early. We also were able to keep them alive through the early frosts by spending late nights out hauling water to keep the sprinklers going. Hopefully we don’t have an early frost on top of a bad spring and summer of drought.
Tickets are now on sale for the Farm Stop and Barley Pop tour that we mentioned in last week’s newsletter. Go to www.montysblueplatediner.com/FarmStop.aspx for more information. Or if you are in Madison, stop by the diner and pick up tickets. Tickets are $40 a person and all proceeds go to the REAP Food Group’s Farm to School program and Rio’s Farm to School program. This years tour destinations are Just Coffee, our farm, and Lapacek’s Orchard in Poynette. It will be a lot of fun, so you should get tickets!