This report is as of July 27. We don't know when next we'll have a moment to do this - so here it is:
The fields are on the dry side. Our heavier soil retains moisture better than most, so we're not horribly worried. But, we're beginning to see some stress on some plants. A small cloudburst was welcome this afternoon, but it probably will do little to ease the problem. The good news is that the cooler weather reduces the stress this dry spell puts on the plants.
Lettuce! Cooler weather makes it that much easier to grow good lettuce and for it to hold longer in the field. Cripsmint and Bronze Arrowhead have acquitted themselves well with nearly the same number of heads harvested. However, the Bronze Arrowhead is showing a desire to resprout after cutting. We'll let some go and see how they taste. Amish Deer Tongue might be a better fall crop for various reasons, but it did well enough. Coming up next are Australian Yellow Leaf, Red Salad Bowl, Forellenschus and Grandpa Admires. All of these look great! Our goal for the year is to pick a ton of lettuce. We're just under 700 lbs right now.
Tomatoes! Several varieties are ripening their scouts. This puts us on target for beginning of peak around August 18 if R's calculations are correct. It looks like an average year for production so far - but the taste has been exceptional for those picked!
Peppers! Plants are a little on the small side, but healthy. There is much more size to the fruit than we have seem for some of our varieties in the past. We know better than to judge this crop until we hit the end of August. But, unlike last year, it looks like they will help us by spreading out the harvest instead of giving us a concentrated pick.
Peas! These have had excellent taste this year. The dry weather is starting to show wear on the plants. But, the cool weather encourages us to keep picking them.
Cucumbers? We'll see. The germination was moderate to poor. Vines have been healthy with minimal fruit set. We're just seeing fruit now and we'll reserve judgement until we start lifting full tubs of cukes for your enjoyment.
Winter squash! The vines are crawling and looking good. We never count our winter squash until they ..uh..hatch. So, we'll just tell you about the vines for now.
Melons and watermelons? The cool weather and weeds are making these crops look doubtful in 2009. We take the good with the bad. But, we're hoping for a surprise in early September from them.