Farm News- June 21, 2012
Here I am again at the end of a 14 hour day trying to get out my late update! I intended to write this morning after consulting with my lead worker, but my day spun out of control and I never got back to my desk. We got two ailing tractors up and running again but left a pickup truck broke down by the side of the road. Two steps forward, one step back! There just aren’t enough hours in the day this time of year. We are still planting and now harvesting, the weeds begin to grow faster than the crops and the insect populations explode. It’s beginning to get dry again, so we are moving irrigation sprinklers around, and it’s time to trellis the tomatoes. It’s quite a battle sometimes, but the farm looks great and that’s very gratifying.
Summer officially arrives this week and it seems it will be ushered in with some scorching heat. Heat loving plants like tomatoes, peppers and squash will benefit from the warmth but for the cool weather crops it will be nearly as stressful as for my workers and I. Plants misbehave when they are stressed and the most common form of malfeasance is called bolting or going to seed. This process is essentially a change from vegetative growth to reproduction and involves rapid transition from a roseate form into a more tree like flower stalk. We are currently seeing this illustrated with radicchio, escarole, lettuces, mustard greens (arugula, tatsoi, etc.) and Napa cabbage. Napa or Chinese cabbage is always a bit tricky in the summer. It had been growing beautifully but then suddenly we began to lose too many to bolting. This past weekend we cut it all even though some of the heads had not filled up as much as I would have liked. It still makes good eating and rest assured we will have better quality with the fall crop. We are still light on peas, but the fava beans are beginning as well.
Later plantings are flowering heavily at present and we will have larger quantities in the shares by next week. We will also be sidetracked from our many other jobs by the very labor intensive task of picking peas. So don’t forget about your next chance to visit the farm this Sunday for the pea picking volunteer day!
Give peas a chance! (Sorry it’s tired and I’m getting late)
The share for this week will be:
Romaine lettuce, peas or fava beans, Napa cabbage, leeks, salad turnips, choice of spinach or Swiss chard, choice of broccoli raab, mizuna or tatsoi, and choice of cilantro or dill.
Enjoy! Farmer John