This Week on the Farm 9/10
It has been another hot and dry week. We still have not had any rain. I saw that we are now in the moderate drought category on the US Drought Monitor. Thankfully we invested heavily in our irrigation system this year and have been able to water our some of our crops. Even so, the lack of moisture since the torrential downpour in June has definitely impacted yields this year.
The dry weather has been a big hit with the melons and watermelons this year. This week the watermelon will make their first appearance. The two varieties we are growing this year are Sugar Baby and Yellow Moon & Stars. Half shares will be receiving the Sugar Baby and full shares will have Yellow Moon & Stars or Sugar Baby.
Yellow Moon & Stars was a trial crop this year. The seed was very expensive, so we only planted about a quarter of the amount of seed compared to the Sugar Baby. The fruit is enormous. Depending on the space and not wanting to crush your other vegetables, we may need to set the watermelons on top of your tote, instead of inside.
The cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, and patty pan have all started to slow down. Powdery mildew has taken over and the plants are starting to dry up. For many of you, this is probably a relief after so many cukes and zukes this season. We hope that you were able to make pickles, freeze, or set aside any extras that you may have had over the course of the summer. Depending on the weather, this may be the last week that these items are in your box.
Another crop that is making its last appearance this week is fresh beans. After nine weeks in a row of beans, our employees and workshares are ecstatic that they will not have to pick any more green beans this season. We have picked close to 1400 lbs of beans by hand this year!
We wanted to give Kit Schmidt a shout out this week for letting us know about a variety of cherry tomatoes that she thought we should look into growing for next year. We love to hear from members about crops or varieties they would like us to try growing. As long as we are able to find the seed organically and it isn’t cost prohibitive, we will try our hand at growing the crop.
The only two crops that we have made the decision we will not grow are okra and edamame. Okra takes up too much space and needs to be harvested more frequently than makes sense for how our deliveries are set up. After last year’s feedback where half of our members loved the edamame, and half of our members detested it, we decided that we would give that crop a pass. Another major contributing factor is that I found out that I am allergic to edamame, so my desire to grow the crop fell dramatically after eating my first edamame bean.
Tyler finished setting up the overhead irrigation in the tomato and pepper field today. One source listed the low for this coming Friday as 39º F when we checked the forecast this morning. The chance of it actually dropping to freezing is relatively low, but we wanted to be ready.
The large scale harvesting for fall is about to kick in. We have dried beans, onions, five rows of potatoes, and all of the winter squash to get in from the fields before the heavy frosts hit. Not only does this mean a lot of heavy lifting, it also means we need to find time to finish up the other bay of tables in the east barn. After taking a walk through the winter squash field last week, we are going to need quite a bit of space to store everything.
Speaking of taking a walk through the winter squash, we were very disappointed to see that the spaghetti squash seed we thought we planted turned out to be a different pie pumpkin variety. Out of all of the plants we planted thinking they were spaghetti squash, only about five of them turned out to be spaghetti squash. I plan on letting the seed company know about the mix up. Since the pumpkins are still edible it is not a huge deal, but I am still rather bummed that we aren’t going to have spaghetti squash in the boxes this year.