Thursday, July 26, 2012

Quick Farm Report

Very quick farm report.

We got 9 tenths of an inch of rain last night (7/25).  It was welcomed, even if it brought some fairly heavy wind.  Came down pretty quick, but the soil was ready for it.  Even had a few puddles on the drive until about 7:30 am. 

The wind rolled our portable duck shelter (apparently too portable?) until it rolled over the electric fence and rammed the gate on a permanent fence.  Only minor injury to one duck.  Irritated humans up very late trying to arrange things for critters.  Not sure if fixing the shelter or building new is best right now.  We had some crop damage and have a big limb down in front of the house (got to see that come down during the day, prior to the storm).  Even the stainless steel sink/counter was blown over - that...and the porta-pot.  Happily no one was resident at the time.

Quick Crop Reports
About 1/4 of the peppers were down, but it looks like we only lost 2 plants entirely to the wind.  There are a few that may still end on us, but that happens.  Eggplant are getting going, but still the plants are awfully small to be thinking about giving us much.
The sweet corn is all down.  We don't grow it specifically for the CSA and it gets low priority.  But, this year it was looking really good.  When we don't get sweet corn (most years) we buy from local sources and freeze a bunch.  We were hopeful to get our own this time.  In fact, they were looking so good that Rob made the mistake of thinking there would be enough to share with others... not likely now.
Pie pumpkins loved the rain and were protected by the corn and sunflowers.  Summer squash and zucchini needed the real rain badly.  If the plants rejuvenate, cooler temps should encourage them to pollinate properly.  Cucumbers love a good rain.  The problem is the wind/heavier rain buried many of the ripe fruit halfway into the mud.  Peas are surprising us with a late crop.  Green beans may hit a lull after this first batch.  Generally plants are fine.  Potatoes were flattened by the wind.  Other than showing us the weeds better, I don't think this will hurt them much.  Makes it harder to navigate the field.  Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels, cabbage, etc were blown around a bit by the wind, with many plants laying down.  Again, the plants will grow through it, but it makes walking the field, weeding, picking, etc that much harder.  These will not take to being stood back up.  Onions loved the rain.  Though some were a bit mashed under broccoli.  Tomatoes have slowed a bit.  It looks like we need to get more water on them than we've been doing at this point - but the key is likely the night time temps.  Needs to be a bit cooler to set fruit more regularly.  Many tomatoes need to be tamed again after the wind.  Melons and watermelon think life is good, but want weeds removed soon.  Lettuce has been fighting hot and dry and had the indignity of sunflowers falling on them.  We'll see.  Chard and kale both need the break in the heat.  Rain is good too.  A fair amount of leaf damage that they'll grow out of.  It was the rain and the reduction in heat that they really needed so we'll take that hit gladly.  Turnip and beet crops are overtaken by weeds.  Probably not saving this batch.  Rain makes it possible to seed new.  Carrots never germinated, so we have to try again.  Basil is still waiting to go in the ground.  It's been so dry it is easier to keep them in the cold frames to keep them alive, but the clock is ticking on them.  Tiger Eye beans are our 'butterbeans' this year.  They are looking pretty good.  Not sure what the yield will be.  In general, the dry beans look fine, if a little beaten up by wind.  Winter squash need weeding badly and needed water badly.  We'll try to save at least the butternuts.  Death by cucumber beetle and squash bug reduced the priority on this field.  Sometimes you have to make choices you don't like.  But, we'll still try to get something out of it.

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