Sunday, September 27, 2009

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

As farmers, we reserve the right to complain about the weather. That's what we are supposed to do - at least that's what I'm told. However, you do have to consider that those who work with growing things and work outside will, by their very nature, be a bit preoccupied with the weather. So, forgive us our preoccupations and we will do what we can to avoid harping about it!

Now, onto other things.

The weather (oops) has actually been pretty good for a number of crops this season. We may not be getting bumper crops of most things, but we have been getting a steady stream of produce from a number of sources for fairly long periods of time.

Case in point: Summer Squash and Zucchini

Typically, the first crops of these die out and are removed from the garden by now. This year has been different. We've gotten rain and dry periods at the right times to help these vines survive into September. And, while they've never really swamped us as these crops tend to do, they've produced at a reasonable level since July.

A normal productive period for one planting is about 32 days. If you include the slower introductory production and the stragglers at the end, you might expect 42 days. This year, our longest surviving summer squash crop is still producing after 70 days of production. Nothing extraordinary, but enough good fruit and plant health to keep checking them.

There have been numerous reports by other farmers' market vendors and local gardeners that their zucchini and summer squash plants do not want to quit either. But, consider this - the extreme temperature swings we often have over a summer didn't really occur. Yes, it was cooler than normal for quite a stretch - but we didn't go from 90 and humid to 65 and dry and back again within a week.

The more we do this, the more we realize we'll never have it all figured out. That makes it worth putting for the the effort to learn as much as we can.

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