Wednesday, September 18, 2019

September Showers Bring October Flowers?

It's another wet September at the Genuine Faux Farm.  We have to admit that this has been nothing at all like some other Septembers, we're looking at YOU, 2018.  According the averages, Septembers should not be all that wet anyway.  Case in point are the conditions we found in 2017.  But, we can still remember harvesting watermelons in the mud in a September in years gone by and we also recall losing a big batch of green beans at the end of August at one point when we were hit with heavy rains.

In other words, we are not unfamiliar with heavy rain events at our farm in September.  But, sometimes it does seem like we have a target on our farm.  Check out the rainfall amounts for September 8 to 13 this season.  Click on the picture for a larger version.
The Genuine Faux Farm is in the higher rainfall area to the right of the arrow.
This graphic came from KWWL and was highlighting the higher rain amounts near the Mississippi River.  We recorded over 5 inches at the farm during this period and the rainfall map seems to concur with us.  I guess we should expect this by now.  It's just that we hoped we wouldn't have to fight the weather quite so much this Fall.  

Don't think we are complaining about it all that much.  The soil did dry out enough in August that conditions are drying up in a normal fashion.  The problem is that it is just now drying up and we have... you guessed it... rain currently at the farm and more forecast.  Hey!  I know some people in south-central Iowa would like a bit more rain... 

One of the reasons wet Septembers are an issue for farms like ours is that we are trying to bring in crops that are difficult to deal with when it is wet.  For example, we still have two beds of onions to bring in.  Ideally, they are easier to clean and handle when they are dry.  But, we may not have that choice for them.
White Wing and Monastrelle
Carrots are a real bear to clean if you harvest them wet, as are potatoes.  Can you harvest them?  Of course.  But, do YOU want to clean a couple hundred pounds of carrots that have a couple hundred pounds of mud attached to them?  Neither do we.  And, those dry beans needed to come in so they can keep drying.  That's the whole point of 'DRY' beans.  They aren't as good when they are 'slightly damp' beans.

The good news is that we did bring in a four beds of onions already and most of the beets and some of the carrots are also in.  So, again, it is not all doom and gloom.  It probably has more to do with the fact that the forecast for today (Wednesday Sep 18) made it look like I had the day to work before it did rain.  Never mind.

But, I can pick high tunnel tomatoes!
 Speaking of high tunnel tomatoes, we are running a trial in the high tunnel for Black Krim, Italian Heirloom and Paul Robeson.  They all seem to be doing quite well right now and we're enjoying the harvest.  Thus far, Black Krim and Italian Heirloom are providing some slightly larger than normal fruit.  Paul Robeson is sticking to a half-pound average.  The largest Italian Heirloom weighed in at 2 1/2 pounds and the largest Black Krim was a pound and a half.  In all cases, the tomatoes have had great texture and taste.  BLTs anyone?

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