I took a few moments tonight to look at some of our numbers and here are some interesting things I found.
1. Eggplant started 2 weeks ahead of schedule this year.
Well - we did get a very early warm spell with lots of humidity. What do eggplant like? WARM WEATHER. Ok, glad they like it. Oddly, the size of the plants themselves are really not ahead of schedule - it's just the production itself.
2. Casper and Pintung Long are producing like they never have before.
Casper is a beautiful white eggplant with a mild flavor and nice texture. It has produced nearly 4 eggplant per plant so far this season and shows signs of incredible yields this year. Pintung is at 3.3 eggplant per plant. It is a long lavender Asian style eggplant. It takes a marinade well and has a wonderful taste. We've only been harvesting these for about a month. In the past, we would have been pleased with 3-4 eggplant per plant for the whole season.
Why is this? Part of the reason has to be the weather. But, before we attribute this entirely to the weather, we need to consider other variables. And, oddly, part of it is the seed industry's decision to drop "Dusky," our only hybrid eggplant - and our usual producer of a large percent of our eggplant crop. With Dusky's demise, we needed to figure out who could pick up the slack. Look what we found!
We are pretty certain that both of these like the warmer summer - but they were already looking good before the heat wave. I suspect an average to warmer summer will do them just fine.
3. Peppers - it may not be 2009 all over again, but at least it is not 2010.
Last year - out of approximately 550 sweet pepper plants - we harvested a dozen peppers. Hey - they sat in water through much of a month. So, we're happy to have peppers this year. However, our total sweet pepper production numbers have been:
That's pretty good consistency.
We're on the normal schedule for production start and entry into peak picking. This is to be expected since the hot weather doesn't necessarily accelerate the peppers all that much. But, what it has done is cause blossom drop - so the rate of increase is not as sharp as normal. We're at 526 sweet peppers so far for the season, so things seem fine. But, we need a strong rebloom and set to get into the numbers we've seen in the past. But, given last year, we'd be happy to be sitting at 2500 for this season when all is said and done.