This Week on the Farm 8/9
It was another busy weekend here at the farm. On Saturday we hosted the dinner portion of the Farm Stop & Barley Pop Tour. We had absolutely gorgeous weather and everyone had a great time. We got to use Don and Kay’s homemade pig roaster to roast a pig and to cook the sweet corn that the chefs from Monty’s Blue Plate Diner and Steenbock’s on Orchard cooked for the meal.
The crops are looking good for the most part, although dry. We haven’t had a substantial rain in the last two weeks and we are going to have to start irrigating certain crops. You may have noticed how hot our jalapeño peppers are in comparison to ones you buy at the grocery store. That is in part because we don’t irrigate and the capsaicin in the peppers isn’t “watered” down. With little to no rain the peppers are going to be hot.
Monday morning we weeded the Brussels sprouts and a second type of green cabbage. This variety of cabbage looks a lot better than the one in the boxes two weeks ago. Let us know how you like it and if you find any problems with it.
The Brussels sprouts, along with the kale and collards, are getting hit really hard by the imported cabbage moths this year. Last year the kale wasn’t bothered by anything. This week a lot of the kale plants look like fish bones. The immatures of the moths have been devouring the leaves down to the stems. We are going to try to control the insects by using an OMRI listed product.
OMRI stands for Organic Materials Review Institute which is an independent review agency that tests products to make sure they are in compliance with organic standards put out by the USDA. Products that may be OMRI listed include fertilizers, seeds, potting media, and even some insect and disease controls.
We try to stay away from treatments like this because we don’t want to inadvertently harm beneficial insects such as bees, but in some cases the use of these products is the only way to hold onto a crop. In such cases, we will call our certifying agency and double check that we can use the product on that specific crop before we apply anything. We have reached that point with our Brussels sprouts and kale. Any product that we use will have no impact on how you handle your vegetables.
We decided this week that we have lost the battle with the weeds in the carrots. We were not able to save enough plants from the weeds to have a substantial crop this year. Using the new seeder incorrectly and planting again later in the spring set us back so far that we just couldn’t compete. We have been brainstorming ideas for next year on how to plant and/or weed the carrots so that we get a nice harvest.
In positive news, the tomatoes are looking healthy and we should have a nice crop in a couple of weeks. The winter squash is also looking really good and I am looking forward to our leeks, which look ten times better than they did last year.
Keep a lookout for an e-mail in the next week about our new fall apple share. We are partnering with Lapacek’s Orchard in Poynette and will be sending out a sign-up sheet with information on our 10-week apple share. Sign-up is not limited to current C.S.A. customers, so let your friends know they can get locally produced apples delivered to our drop-off location.
Lapacek’s Orchard uses IPM to produce delicious apples. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 920-992-3643 or 608-234-0674.