This Week on the Farm 8/11
Here is a big shout out to everyone who came out to this years Farm Fiesta! Thank you so much for coming out to the farm to share food and to see where your food is grown. Another year of fantastic food and good company! I would also like to give Tyler huge props for creating a table decoration out of left over produce. We asked everyone to come up with a name for the veggie man and here are some of the options: Zucchinator, Coco Zell Von Napa, Mr. Green Jeans, & Eddie Edible. If you can come up with a great name for the veggie man please share your idea on our facebook page!
This is a reminder that the apple shares are due this Friday. This gives Kim time to process the paperwork and for me to get labels made before the first delivery on August 26 and 28. If you need a sign-up form, please contact me and I will send you a copy. We have our personal share already sent in and I am eagerly anticipating the first delivery of apples.
Our farm was picked as one of the farm stops for the 8th Annual Bike the Barns tour put on by FairShare CSA Coalition. This bicycle tour is one of the main fundraising efforts that FairShare hosts during the year and we are really excited to be a part of it this year. The ride is scheduled for Sunday, September 14 and there are two routes to pick from (45 mile or 60 mile). To find out more about this event and/or to register go to www.csacoalition.org and follow the link on the main page.
Onto crop news. We are busy (like always) trying to keep the weeds under control. This morning we were able to get almost all of the later season cabbages rototilled and hoed. We have two more rows to hoe and then they should be good for the season. We have noticed a lot of imported cabbage loopers in the area so we went ahead and scheduled three more weeks of parisitoid wasps to be delivered. Since we started releasing the wasps two years ago we have found that the damage created by the larvae that hatch from the eggs that the moths lay is minimal. A lot of farms use an OMRI listed product to kill the moths and larvae, but we feel that since the wasps work as well as they do there is no need for us to spray something. We are getting close to the point where the fall napa cabbages, kohlrabi, and collards are going to be ready to be transplanted. Hopefully early next week we will get a chance to get new ground worked and get those transplants in the ground. These tender transplants are very susceptible to damage done by the looper larvae so it is important that we keep releasing the wasps while the moths are out.
I have been very happy with how our new caterpillar tunnel has worked this summer as a greenhouse for summer plantings of transplanted crops. It is cooler than any of our greenhouses at this time of year because the plastic sides are always up. The cooler conditions have really helped since many of the crops we are trying to grow are cooler season crops. The plastic that we used to cover the tunnel is three or four years old. Usually this is about the time that you need to replace the plastic because it is no longer clear and it doesn’t allow light to pass through as well. This has actually worked to our advantage since it allows some light to pass through so the plants can grow, but it also shades the plants somewhat so they aren’t scalded with the bright summer sun. We haven’t had as many issues with plants desiccating this year because we are using this new structure and we are both pleased with the results.
The newly seeded crops in the direct seeded field are ready to be hoed. I am hoping to get a chance either Tuesday evening or Wednesday to whip through there with the wheel hoe. We got a nice rain Monday evening, so it shouldn’t be difficult to hoe. Sometimes when it hasn’t rained in awhile the soil becomes hard like concrete and it is really difficult to break that top layer of soil up and weed efficiently.
This is the first week of tomatillos and peppers. If the warm weather continues by next week we should have enough tomatillos ripe so that everyone will be able to have them in their boxes. While I was out trellising them last week I could hear our bees buzzing with all of the blossoms. The buzzing was actually so loud that it was difficult to think about anything else. It was really cool to hear.
The first of the larger tomatoes are just starting to blush and we picked two quarts of cherry tomatoes today, so the tomatoes are on their way! Hopefully next week there will be enough ripe to put one in everyones box. By two weeks from now I know there will be tomatoes in everyones boxes. It has been amazing how cool the weather has been the entire season. I think we have had one day in the 90s. Usually we have had at least a week or two in the 90s by now!