Well, if he isn't happy, then the plants might get depressed if they see him frowning all the time. And, we don't want that, do we?
Information provided is as of Sep 20 of this season.
Of all the summer crops we grow, we'd have to say people focus the most on the heirloom tomatoes we grow. And, this year, they got a very late start - not going into the ground until June 17 or later (we usually target May 25).
Field tomatoes are just starting to peak. Thus far, we've pulled in over 500 pounds, which is wonderful, considering there was a fear that we might get nothing. Italian Heirloom (272 fruit) and Druzba (119) are leading the way. The surprise is that German Pink (63) is already producing. These are typically 10-15 days after the other two.
The high tunnel tomatoes also went in later than they should have. But, they did go in before the field tomatoes and have been producing for a while. The focus in the high tunnel is on the snack sized tomatoes. We only have 30 plants in the building, usually five of each type. We have harvested over 300 pounds of tomatoes from the high tunnel so far. The big winners have been Wapsipinicon Peach (70.2 per plant) and Red Zebra (61.2). It is likely that each of these will reach 85-90 per plant by the end. Jaune Flamme (31.2) has had a rough year, but we attribute that to an environmental problem in the area of the tunnel they were planted. Green Zebra (30.2) is moving slower than the others, but should reach 50 per plant by the end. That would be a respectable output.
|Wapsipinicon Peach tomato|
Zucchini and Summer Squash
We are scheduling time to clean these up. Any production from here is not likely to be worth our time since most fruit will be of poor quality. We end with 1839 zukes and 1125 summer squash. We consider these to be weak numbers, but acceptable amounts for our CSA program. We'll bring all varieties back in 2014 in similar quantities.
|Success summer squash|
The season for these is also rapidly drawing to a close. We can still get fruit from the vines, but the fruit quality is declining. We harvested over 3000 pounds of cucumbers for the season. On a farm this size, any time you can use the word "ton" with "harvest," you can feel pretty good about it. Unless, of course, you have an elephant on that small farm. Then, it may not be so impressive. Of particular note were the Boothby's Blonde (2159 fruit) and Green Finger (1032) this year.
|A&C Pickling cucumber|
We have a difficult time hitting the correct window for carrots on our farm. And, of all things, during a year when hitting any planting window was nearly impossible - we hit this one. We're not entirely sure how that happened, but we're pleased nonetheless. We still have 50 feet or so left to dig, but the harvest stands are 460 pounds of carrots so far. Our faith in St Valery's as our main carrot crop is renewed. We are enjoying both Dragon (purple carrots) and Yellowstone (yellow carrots). So, we'll probably try something similar next season.
741 pounds and counting. And, Fall lettuce is the best!
We expect to lose up to 70% of a summer crop to bolting and other quality issues. By contrast, our last row we harvested had 8 culls (rejected heads). We harvested over 200 heads that made the cut to be distributed.
The beans in the high tunnel are flowering AGAIN. Wonder what we'll get out of this pick? With the pole beans jumping into the fray, we are sitting at 371 pounds of beans this season. A far cry from the half-ton last year. But, considering we lost 600 feet of field green beans to wet fields, we'll take it!
Early field kale died in the wet fields. But, we were able to continue to plant. So, the later kale has provided us with some good pickings. And, for those that remember, the high tunnel had some very productive plants in the Spring. Say what you want about kale, love it or hate it - it is still one of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat. We might have liked a more consistent season from our kale this year, but we remain pleased with 312 pounds for the season thus far (this translates to about 800 bundles in our shares).
|Red Russian kale|
Heads of broccoli have been a bit smaller than we would ideally like to see, but the late Summer heat's timing forced us to pick many to avoid bolting. We've harvested over 450 heads and reports have been great for taste. We still have plants setting their first heads and the others are beginning to set side-shoots. We like it!
The peppers that survived to produce this year are all located in the high tunnel. Have we said before how much we've benefited from having that building available to us?
A typical pepper season for us has us landing at about 5000 sweet peppers (this includes everything from bell peppers to the long thing sweet peppers). This year, we'll get to somewhere along the lines of 1100 (sweet and spicy peppers combined). We're particularly pleased with Jimmy Nardello's Frying Pepper (398). These are excellent fresh or cooked. We like putting these on pizza and have recently heard someone else extoll their virtues in salads. Just don't confuse them with a hot pepper. We only put a few Golden Treasure plants into the high tunnel. Considering how beautiful the peppers look on these plants, we might have to consider increasing their numbers.
|Jimmy Nardello's Frying Pepper|
Speaking of hot peppers, Beaver Dam likes to be in the high tunnel. These are fairly large for hot peppers and are great for stuffing or putting in salsas or chili's. In a good year for field production, we hope to net 2 top quality fruit per plant. So far, we're between four and five per plant in the high tunnel. Feher Ozon Papricka (111 fruit) have done well, but Alma Papricka (58) isn't as thrilled by life in the building.