Here we are folks, entering the 5th week of the CSA, and you guessed it, still no rain. There were some nice steady downpours throughout the day on Sunday but when I went out to the fields that night, there wasn’t much that had penetrated down into the soil. But we’ll take whatever we can get these days and keep plugging away. Everything that has been predicted keeps missing the farm here in Dryden. Both the plants and students are persevering through this moderate drought (according to the US Drought Monitor). If what we are currently facing is “moderate”, I’d hate to see what a “severe”, “extreme” or “exceptional” would be doing to our crops (and selves).
One of the challenges that we face when the weather is like this, is preparing new beds to plant. The usual protocol for us is to plow a field and let it sit for a few days, hopefully it will rain a little to help breakdown some of the organic matter. After things sit for a few days we then smooth out the field and let that sit for a couple of days and then we plant. The problem with it being so dry is that every time we work the soil we are actually losing organic matter and topsoil in those big dust plumes. I’ve been trying to wait it out and be hopeful that it will rain but I think that I need to push forward because we still have lots of plants to get into the ground the next two months.
You wanna know what crops are doing great right now? That’s right our rocks. They are thriving in this hot, dry weather. They actually thrive in all-weather. We’ve probably moved 3 tons already out of the field and into piles this season. So, if anyone is looking for some border stones, we’ve got plenty for you. Just let me know.
This past week we saw some new additions to the farm. We have partnered with Challenge Workforce Solutions to serve as a job site for a Youth Summer Employment Program. There have been 3 high school students placed with us and they will be working alongside our students for the remainder of July and the first couple weeks of August. They’ve only been here for a few days (some that were very hot!) but have shown us a strong work ethic. I also think that this will be a great opportunity for our students to take more of a leadership role on the farm, as well as mentoring the next generation.
This week’s share is lighter than it should be this time of the year but we still have veggies. There will be more lettuce, kale, chard, garlic scapes and fresh garlic. The new item that we’ll have this week are cucumbers. We grow 2 types of cukes on the farm, pickling and slicers. The pickling cukes will make up the bulk of what’s available this week. The variety that I like to grow actually don’t need to be pickled and can be eaten fresh in salads. If you do want to make some pickles, here is a super easy refrigerator pickle recipe from All Recipes. There is also a small amount of mint and thyme available for u-pick. Just ask for some scissors at pick up tomorrow.
Have a great week folks!