Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sept Farm Report

Farm Report for Sept 19:

  • The cooler evenings spell the end (or at least a weak last gasp) for some of our summer friends. The cucumbers will be lucky to give us a couple of dozen fruit at best. This is, of course, normal - and we are not surprised by it at all.
  • The summer squash and zucchini slow down dramatically, but the 3rd planting looks fairly healthy. We have not been out to check on the fruit this weekend, so we don't know what they will do for us.
  • Lettuce is looking good and we may get lucky and have our successions mature at just the right speed. We are certainly hoping this will be the case.
  • The main feature for a time will be greens. The swiss chard looks healthy. The older kale that survived June/July can be picked, but the number of plants are limited. There are a few volunteer arugula plants that will be harvested.
  • Tomatoes are winding down, but we expect a few this week for everyone. We'll pick the rest of the basil with the belief that they will not survive much longer.
  • We will see how some of our root crops are doing. There MAY be some carrots, turnips, beets and parsnips this week. But, as is always the case with these, it is hard to tell what you've got until you dig them.
  • Green beans? That is always the question. We never know until the rows are picked. It could be a long 'fruitless' task - or we could be pleased. And, we'll be starting the potato hunt. Let's hope the surviving plants did well for us! It is possible the potatoes in a compost pile will produce the best. We made sure not to turn the pile over these plants once we recognized the losses in June and July.
  • Ducks will go to the processor (park) in the beginning of October. Chickens on October 18 and turkeys at the end of the month of October. So, it is time to consider ordering birds.
  • The CSA is planned for six more weeks. We will inform everyone if this plan must change.
  • Late season crops are growing well in the fields. We have broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, collards, lettuce, onions (which we hope to harvest as green onions), kale, pok choi, radish, daikon, etc. There may be a gap between the summer crops and the late season crops. And, of course, there is always the possibility that nature will step in and reduce these crops to nothing. But, for now, suffice it to say that we are keeping these crops weeded, mulched and are doing what we can for them.
  • High Tunnel crops are two-fold. The melons, tomatoes, peppers and beans inside the tunnel right now are intended as a trial. And, any resulting fruit may be a part of the CSA. The melons are borderline successful at this point. It is clear that we missed the start by about 2 weeks. But, the tunnel didn't exist prior to that, so we can't really be upset by that. It is possible we'll get all of one or two melons. In that case, we call dibs. It is also possible there will be more. In that case, we will share as we can!
  • High Tunnel part 2. In case you forgot, the high tunnel moves. The winter crops are planted in the east plot. We intend to move the high tunnel over these crops in early October. But, we'll react to the weather as we feel we must. We'd like to give the current crops as much time as we can afford. But, the winter crops are an important part of paying off the high tunnel! Currently in this plot are lettuce, pok choi, broccoli, kohlrabi, arugula, carrots, spinach, chard, mustard, collards, amaranth, cabbage. We expect to add some onions, leeks and brussels to the mess. This is our first try at this, so we are trying a few more crops than we might otherwise (some more than others). Contents of the high tunnel will not be ready for the current CSA season. However, we would like to implement a winter CSA season for 20-30 interested persons. If you are interested, let us know.
  • We have identified and are now looking for implements for the Ford 8n. At present, our goal is to acquire a chisel plow to deal with some soil compaction issues. A disc harrow is likely up next. Here's hoping.
  • Building modifications and improvements are going way up the list right now. There is only so much time before much of this work becomes difficult due to the colder weather. The difficulty is in finding the contiguous chunks of time to tackle each problem - as we are still planting, weeding, mowing, mulching, harvesting...
  • And then there is the paperwork. One item is recording problems, results, etc from this year. We need to get this down so we don't forget when we have more time to plan for next year! And, of course, there is lots of learning to do! Neither of us has worked with implements like we will dealing with on the Ford. Neither of us has grown veg in a high tunnel. And, there are things like an effort to write a grant to add a solar array next season and a walk in cooler.
Feeling overwhelmed yet? Don't worry, we do too. But, we'll figure it out anyway - and enjoy the ride as we do our best to accomplish it all.

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