Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Raining Cats and Dogs

It has been very dry at the farm since we had some very serious rain at the end of July.  At the point of those downpours, we were well ahead in terms of moisture for the year.  Now, we're probably at about the normal amount of rainfall for the year thus far (which tells you how far ahead we were).

I have to admit that I tend to prefer drier weather from a work perspective most of the time.  Obviously, if it gets so hot, dry and windy that all you do is water things, then it doesn't help.  But, drier this time of year on our farm, with our soil types and with the wetter start we had.. well, it's been okay for us.

For example, the field tomatoes tend to taste better if there is less rain during the ripening period.  The fruit also tend to hold a little better so we get nicer fruit.  On the other hand, crops like lettuce don't really want to get going because they apparently know the difference between irrigation and real rain.  Oh sure.  They'll grow and do decently.  But, give them a nice little soaker at about the point they are half-sized and you'll have some awesome lettuce!
West of the farm Sep 25 in the late afternoon.

As of this writing at 9:00 pm on September 25, the farm has received exactly 1 inch of rain for the day according to our weather station.  We can't complain since we did need it.

Bree, one of our Indoor Farm Supervisory Staff, has been complaining.  She is not particularly fond of thunder and we had a good bit of that earlier.  She found a rug in the kitchen that was near where her human was working and she hasn't left all evening (even when the human moves elsewhere).

The turkeys have not had much experience with thunderstorms.  In fact, I just realized that the last time we had serious thunder, they really didn't gobble because they were too young.  Apparently, they felt thunder required a response.  So, for each peal of thunder, they let loose with a "crowd gobble."  I, at least, found some humor in that.

Today's quick cloudbursts caused a bit of consternation in the turkey flock as well.  In this case, they did not crowd gobble.  Instead, there was a good deal of chirping and running around.   Sadly, they did not figure out that they could GO INSIDE if they wanted to get out of the rain.  Instead, they just ran around the pasture.  The farmer, on the other hand, did run for shelter.  Of course, by the time he got to said shelter, he was pretty wet.  So, maybe the turkeys have it right.  Get wet, stay wet - figure out how to enjoy it.

Want to learn more about turkeys on the farm?  Try this post!

Perhaps the most difficult thing about today's rain (and tonight's likely rain - and tomorrow morning's possible rain) is that it is Monday night.  We have shares to delivery in Waverly tomorrow.  That means we have harvesting to do.  And, that work is always more difficult after and during rain events.

Some of last week's share (thank you Cynthia for the photo)
Our farm shares have been very good this year (if we do say so ourselves) with good variety and excellent quality.  Plenty of quantity without being overwhelming for any one thing.  At least that's what we think!  And the produce is usually quite good looking as the above photo might suggest.

We're pleased to be able to do a good job for our customers.  Sometimes, things may not look this nice and as often as not, the reason is the timing of rain.

Summer squash fresh out of the field after/during a rain.
This may come as a surprise to some, but plants grow in the soil.  And, when it rains, the aforementioned soil becomes mud.  Some of that mud adheres to the fruit we harvest.  It's a thing.


But, we work to clean things up as best as we can given whatever time we have prior to leaving for deliveries.  And, more often than not, we get it all done.  But, on days when the rain persists and the weather throws us a fair amount of lightning a choice is sometimes made.  Do we opt to harvest something we can't get cleaned and offer it OR do we opt to not harvest it and not give that item at all for this delivery?

The choice always depends on a number of things (what else is already in the share?  will these things hold in the field ok?) and the decision is rarely taken without some thought.  But, in the end, we have an advantage with our delivery method.  Each item has its own tray and members can opt to take or not take each item.  If a little dirt offends, people can let it be.  Happily, our farm share members know how to clean produce - which means these items are usually taken.  They get it.  Sometimes the farmers need just a little bit of understanding and sometimes the summer squash need a few seconds of rinsing before they go into that grill packet you'll be having tonight for dinner!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your input! We appreciate hearing what you have to say.