Week of July 16th – CSA Newsletter

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.

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Dry Farming, Weeding, and Sticky Traps – Student Post

Dry Farming, Weeding, and Sticky Traps – Student Post By Maria

With the 2016 season well underway, many of the tasks on the TC3 Farm revolve around giving the plants a helping hand, the backbone of being a farmer.  As Todd mentioned in his CSA newsletter this week, our area has been upgraded to a “severe” drought; a big problem here because we mostly practice dry farming. But the plants need water, so I have been lucky enough to have the role affectionately titled Crop Savior. (watering picture) The past few weeks it was an arduous process that involved filling many 5-gallon buckets and trucking them to the field from the barn because the field does not have a water source yet, then using watering cans to get the water to the plants. Water Tank This required a team of people as a couple people filled buckets, while a couple more did the actual watering.  In the aforementioned newsletter, Todd shared the news we were gifted with a very large water tank that fills up the whole of the truck bed. (I was remiss in getting a picture of the tank like I’d hoped)  It has no pump, so it uses gravity to move the water, so our field being on a slope is a good thing in this regard.  While it is a slow flow from the tank out of the hose and it can be a lonely one-person job, the tank lasts for hours before needing a refill!  It’s almost a meditative job, so I rather enjoyed the watering shifts.

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