This Week on the Farm 8/2
We would like to start this news-letter by giving a huge “Thank You” to Kit Schmidt who answer-ed our call for help this past Saturday. You may recognize her name, she is the awesome woman who provides the flower bouquets for the full share boxes each week. Not only does she garden, but she gave some of her time to help us garden as well. Between the three of us we weeded all of the peppers, tomatoes, okra, eggplant, and tomatillos. That is one whole field of vegetables weeded in one morning! It really showed us the difference that hoeing early makes on weed control. If only all of our fields were that easy to weed!
We would also like to thank the Carlson clan for all of their work Tuesday morning this week (and for all of the other mornings and evenings they have put in over the course of the year)! Between our workers and their help we weeded the onions, scallions, and sweet potatoes. It was hot, sweaty work, but very satisfying to see all of our healthy looking onions in neat rows once we were finished!
Monday morning we harvested all of our garlic and it is now hanging in the west barn to cure. This is our first year growing garlic, so some of the things like when to harvest and how to hang it so it cures the best is going to be trial and error. We like the challenge. You may remember that we talked about not putting any garlic in this year’s C.S.A. boxes. Organic seed garlic is very, very expensive, so we are going to increase our seed by ourselves over the next couple of years before we are able to put the garlic in the boxes.
The peppers are looking great. No sign of blossom end rot in the peppers or tomatoes this year. The tomatoes have a lot of blooms on them and some nice green tomatoes. We will hopefully have an excellent crop in the coming weeks. I am excited for the Corno di Toro peppers which are very sweet. I hope they are as good as last year’s Carmen peppers.
The first planting of sweet corn is ready to go and the raccoons have found some of it. Keeping the electric fence up and running has been a challenge because of the heat. Tyler has to wear coveralls when he is mowing the fence, and it has been too hot to be working like that safely these past couple of weeks. Fencing is one area where we need improvement. There are always other jobs that are more pressing that need to be done and it always gets shoved to the back of the list, especially when it is this hot outside.
This year’s sweet corn is a test run to make sure we can successfully grow enough for the boxes. If each box gets at least several ears of corn and there are 70-80 boxes that go out each week, that is a lot of good quality corn that needs to be ready at the same time. We are working on what type of planting schedule will give us the amount of corn we need, for example whether to do small successive plantings or two large plantings. Also, insect control in organic production can be a big problem because there are a lot of things that like to eat sweet corn.
Until we figure out all of the glitches, we encourage you to stop by your local produce stand and pick up some sweet corn. For those of you in Rio, we may have enough to go out on the stand just not enough for the boxes this year.