Farm News- June 1, 2009

Circle Brook Farm
Circle Brook Farm

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another late farm update! I’ve been trying to find time to write this for the past week, but after a 12 or 13 hour day in the field it’s difficult to concentrate. This is the time of year when everything needs to get planted at once and when the weather doesn’t cooperate, by raining for a week straight for example, it’s easy to get behind. We finished planting the onions about 2 weeks ago and they are growing nicely. We are still planting potatoes but there are only about 500 lbs. left to plant and we should finish with these next week.

The potatoes actually got burned by a late season freeze about 2 weeks ago. Potato plants are really quite hardy and can stand temperatures 3 or 4 degrees below freezing so it must have gone down to at least 27 that night. And this was just 2 days before we had the heat wave with 90 degree daytime temperatures! They looked quite sad there for a week or so but they have recovered and are starting to grow rapidly. The worst part of this is that the damage slowed their growth and we were required to do more hand weeding because we were not able to throw as much soil around the plant with the tractor cultivation. I also observed that several weed species growing nearby were also singed by the cold. The brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower etc.) are growing well, although we are being plagued by flea beetles currently. These are tiny black insects which jump when you try to grab them, hence the name.

The peas are growing beautifully and several varieties have begun to flower. This past week we transplanted out into the field tomatoes, eggplant, basil, cucumbers, and celery.

Next week we will be setting out the peppers and more tomatoes. Today we are transplanting sweet potatoes. You may remember that last year we didn’t have any because I waited until early May to order the plants and there were none available. This year I made sure I ordered them early! Thanks to all those who came out to help cover the greenhouse back on May 9th. It was even more of a challenge than usual as gusty winds tore the plastic out of our hands twice before we finally succeeded. I really appreciate the help; I never could have done it without the extra hands. I hope to see many of you at the farm visit/ picnic next Sunday. I always enjoy meeting the members and the opportunity to show off the results of all our hard work. Just 3 more weeks until the first delivery!

Farmer John

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