Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mid-Summer Farm Update

By Capt Jack, The Dog

Hello Everyone!  Can you believe the first day of July is this week! There’s been so much going on around here I have kind of lost track of time. I recently heard my Dad (Farmer Richard) tell someone we are now past the longest day of the year and  the days will start to get progressively shorter. Thankfully we still have several more months of summer to enjoy, and a lot more vegetables to eat before winter rolls in!
I wanted to give you a glimpse into what I’m seeing as I travel through the fields each day with Farmer Richard.  Let’s get an important discussion out of the way first….Garlic.  This is the time of the year when Dad and I start to visit the garlic field every day, and sometimes twice a day.  We’re
checking the garlic to see if it’s ready to harvest yet.  Dad says it’s not quite ready yet, we’re thinking next week will be the big week of harvest.
Here’s something else exciting to share.  The corn is starting to tassle!  We’ll need to put up all the shiny bird deterrents, fence and electric tape pretty soon to keep the critters out of the field.  We’re thinking we’ll be picking corn within a few weeks.  You may be wondering about the rest of the popular summer vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.  I’m happy to report the tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers all look healthy and fantastic!  The cucumbers have been a challenge this year.  We will have cucumbers, they’ll just be a little behind schedule.
We’ve been harvesting quite a lot of broccoli last week and this week.  Our first and second plantings of the year are heading up and the guys just keep cutting and cutting!  It’s kind of funny to consider
that while we’re harvesting our spring-planted broccoli, we’re also planting our fall broccoli.  We have one more planting to do next week and then our 2016 broccoli plantings will be done.  Mom has been asking Dad when we’ll have cauliflower.  He keeps telling her the spring-planted cauliflower is waiting for cooler temperatures to make a head.  The cauliflower must think like I do. When it’s really hot, like it was last weekend, I prefer to work minimally and hang out in a cool place.  This week has been a much more mild week, so I think we’ll start seeing the heads forming on the cauliflower plants very soon.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Wait until you see the big, beautiful head of leaf lettuce in your boxes this week!  We’ve had pretty
good early season head lettuce this year.  Rain and humidity can be very detrimental to a lettuce crop, but my Dad chose some good lettuce varieties this year and they held up well despite some rain and hot days.  We’re thankful to have had these lettuces this year as our spring salad mix and spinach has been quite a challenge.  We are looking forward to the fall when we plant spinach and salad mix again.  They grow much better in the fall.
 Oh, I wanted to let you know the winter squash field looks awesome right now!  Despite a few annoying bugs on the plants, they look very healthy and are filling out very nicely.  We’re optimistic that we’ll have a good winter squash crop to harvest later this fall.  The pumpkins also look pretty good.  Some of you may have seen them when you were at our party a few weeks ago.
In addition to the crops, we’ve also been busy dealing with weeds.  We were caught up with weeding earlier in the season, and then we had a period of rain and the temperatures spiked.  These are the perfect conditions for weeds to take advantage of and they literally grew overnight!  While I really don’t like weeds, I have to admit I have a lot of respect for the intelligence of a weed seed.  Weeds are opportunists and will establish themselves whenever and wherever conditions are favorable.  Dad says the weeds are going to slow down now.  Weeds like to multiply by producing seeds that drop back into the soil or blow around.  They have to have enough warm days to do so though.  Now that we’re past the longest day of the year, the weeds won’t waste their time germinating because they know they don’t have enough time this year to produce seed.  Unfortunately they don’t just go away, they’ll lay in the soil and wait until next year to grow.  For this year though, it means the pressure of having to hand weed will let up a little bit.
Well, I have a lot more to tell you, but I’m out of room and need to get back to work.  We hope you’ve been enjoying your boxes so far this year and continue to have fun cooking and eating!

1 comment:

Pamela S said...

I always enjoy Jack's posts!