Ok, so this is going to be one of those weather newsletters. It’s been dry and hot out there. So, I need everyone to put on their dancing shoes and start doing a rain dance. It’s not as bad as it was 2 years ago but we are definitely due for some rain. I’ve started to see some reports that we are approaching drought-like conditions. Because we got some good snow this winter and some really good rain events earlier this season, we are in pretty good shape. but a lot of the crops are in a holding pattern. We even took last week off from transplanting because I didn’t want the newly planted crops to struggle to survive. We have the ability to water but setting up the irrigation is very cumbersome so I just usually try to wait it out. I’m ever the optimist but I think my gray hair is getting a little grayer.
That being said, we kept plugging away with the weeding on the farm and made a huge headway. July is high time for weeds on a farm and we are doing our best to stay on top of everything. We made it through our onions and leeks last week and started to work our way through all of our other crops. I tried to make everyone feel a little better about all the weeding by letting folks know that I have friends that are hand-weeding 350 foot rows, so our 100 foot rows aren’t so bad. I’m not sure how that worked :). In addition to all of our weeding and cultivating that we did, we also managed to hill our potatoes. Hilling potatoes is an important job because it allows us to increase our yield per plant. The more of the plant that is covered with soil, the more potatoes we should get. It also helps with exposure to sun. With every rain event, we have a little bit of erosion, so we don’t want to expose those precious little tubers to the sun. We’ll hill again at least one more time before we start harvesting and if we’re lucky, we’ll get a third hilling in.
Another big job accomplished last week was to get the trellis set up for our field tomatoes. That job includes pounding posts into the ground every 5 feet or so before we can basket weave the tomatoes to keep them off of the ground. It was a big job but was finished in an afternoon.
For our field trip last week, I took the student interns to Cornell’s Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm where CSA member Ryan took time out of his day to show us around the fields where Organic trials are taking place. It was really awesome to see some of the field trials for different production techniques for different crops. I had a great time and I think the students did as well.
Let’s talk about veggies and this week’s CSA share. The cherry tomatoes are oh so close to taking off but aren’t quite there yet. The same goes for our eggplant. My guess is that they should start being in the share in two weeks. That being said, this week’s choice is going to have summer squash, cucumbers, radishes, salad turnips, kale, swiss chard, basil, sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, garlic, arugula, parsley and some of the nicest carrots we have ever grown before. In addition to the tomatoes and eggplant in the coming weeks, the beans are starting to flower and the spinach is coming along nicely.
Have a great week and keep your fingers crossed for rain!