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This Week on the Farm 8/26
Every morning this week the weather has hinted of fall. We have started wearing sweatshirts in the morning to keep the chill off and the burr oak tree has started dropping leaves. In some ways this is good news. Our cool season crops like lettuce, bok choi, radishes, and beets like this type of weather and will grow much more quickly. In other ways the cooler weather is not so nice, it signals the fact that our season is already halfway done.
This week marks the first delivery of special order apples from Lepacek’s Orchard. If you are interested in ordering apples, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by the Monday of each week. See the attached flyer for the varieties that will be available next week.
Our tomatoes have started producing and there are no signs of late blight on the plants. Tyler’s weekly preventative spraying of copper has helped tremendously. We have seen and heard of cases of late blight near the farm, but so far we have been lucky.
On Tuesday Don mowed off all of the strawberry plants in preparation for the fall. We need to fertilize them twice more this year to ensure maximum growth next year. Maximum growth will allow us to set more runners and establish more new plants. The following year we should have enough plants to start providing strawberries from our own fields in the boxes.
Tyler has been busy weeding and planting more fall crops this week. Some of the weeds are so thick he has to cut them down with a hatchet. We are in the process of figuring out our frost protection techniques. We will use irrigation as the main method. As water cools and undergoes a phase change from water to ice it releases heat. This heat keeps the plant at above freezing temperatures and prevents frost kill. This only works for short periods of time because too much ice build up on the plant can damage the plant tissue. That is why we are also looking into using row covers to trap the heat close to the ground at night. We have row covers, but need to make metal hoops for the material to rest on so that the cover isn’t directly on the plant.
We would like to thank Brady Anderson for all of his help this summer and to wish him luck on the start of high school!