Sunday, June 21, 2009

FARM NEWS 6.20.09

This week was memorable for lots of rain, so much rain, in fact, we couldn't plow or cultivate several of the fields. So much rain half of our Brussels Sprout crop sat in "standing water" for over 24 hrs. But this doesn't mean these crops are done for, it just means there's potential. When it's raining so much it doesn't pay to go into the field with the tractor, as compaction can be ten times worse than usual. A case of hurry up and wait for conditions to change. Between the rains, our crew found time to pull off three harvests (We actually have four groups to harvest for- our locals, our Manhattans, our Westchesters and of course our farmer's market in Norfolk).

Between harvests, and between downpours, we hoed and handweeded carrots, cabbages, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplants, and celeriac. For an hour there, conditions in one field were dry enough for Cody to seed salad mix and arugula while Alissa, Naf, and I transplanted the third round of cucumbers, zucchini, basil, and beets. Thanks to this terrific crew, we manage to keep making progress despite the weather. Because we are not completely dependent on mechanization and tractors for every cultivation, transplanting, and seeding we could continue getting work done.

I always say, I'll never complain about too much rain, because I know the reverse is far more trouble. Vegetables are 90% water, not 90% unwater! I suppose though, that we'll be thankful when the skies clear a bit and we can continue plowing and transplanting, cultivating and seeding as usual.

Attached is a photo of Alissa with the seeder. We all take turns weekly putting in the salad mix, arugula, and broccoli raab seed. This entails pushing the seeder back and forth on the soil until parallel rows are formed. It's about a mile of greens seeded every week. Mostly they are ready for harvest in 40 days, and a week missed can make trouble down the road. (This week's excessive rain has been trouble for the salad mix too, splashing mud and constant wet make for lushness and spots of rot.) Hopefully your salad mix has still held up well for you in the fridge. More on the art of salad mix later.

In your share, approximately:

Salad Mix
Garlic Scapes
Asian Spinach
Spring Cabbage

Your farmer,

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