Farm News – July 1, 2010

Circle Brook Farm
Circle Brook Farm

Hello Everyone, Well, it was a scorcher of a week! It’s summertime in New Jersey just like I remember it – hot and humid. While the hot warm weather crops such as the tomatoes and peppers have been in their glories, the cool weather plants have been looking quite dejected- wilting and droopy. Fortunately the heat wave is predicted to break and we will have some milder temperatures by mid-week.

There’s no rain in sight though, and the ground is getting pretty dry. We are moving into the time of summer when passing thunderstorms are our best chance of precipitation. We find ourselves hoping for them, with the caveat that they not be accompanied by high winds or hail. We are in the weeds, as they say; only in this case it is meant both literally and figuratively. We have been fighting to keep the grasses from swallowing the potatoes and the leeks and pulling the pig-weed out of the carrot and beet crops. Once we begin deliveries and markets, harvesting occupies so much of our time that it’s hard to keep up with the maintenance.

The pea picking is especially labor intensive and for that reason I wish to thank profusely the volunteers who came out on Sunday to help with the pea harvest. They picked nearly 300 lbs. of sugar snap peas, more than half what we will need for the week. The Guatemala workers I have been waiting for finally had their interview at the embassy this past week and were given visas. They will arrive this Wednesday night. Hallelujah! Help is on the way!

We were visited this week by a gentleman named Mark from the state insect labs. He brought with him and released thousands of parasitic wasps. Parasites you say? Yes, but fortunately they only parasitize the larva of the Mexican bean beetle. This undocumented alien was once the scourge of bean growers throughout the state until this wonderful biological control program was developed. It’s a beautiful thing; one less crop that has to be sprayed and it’s good to know something good is being done with our tax dollars.

The share for this week will be: Green leaf lettuce, pearl onions, radishes, spinach, bok choy, arugula, sugar snap peas, broccoli, summer squash, choice of escarole or endive, and choice of an herb.

Enjoy! Farmer John

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