Thursday, May 8, 2008

Let the Season Begin (Ready or Not)

As mid-May approaches we ready ourselves for the start of the season. The farm is drying out and warming up after an exceptionally cool and wet Spring. The fact of the matter is we have only recently “broken a sweat” it’s been so cool out. This weather has set the clock back at least a week on many of our early vegetables, but we still plan on starting the season next week, May 14th. We hope to have a full share, but may be a little light. We hope you understand.

Our best projection of what items may be in the share is the following: lettuce, green garlic, leeks, Asian greens, herb choice (chives, mint, lovage), a small bunch of aparagus, walking onions, and maybe some other greens.

The rain predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday passed us by, finally letting the farm dry out, and allowing for lots of planting, tilling, thinning, and good growing. Summer squash, cucumbers, beans and more tomatoes have joined the crops in the field. In the greenhouse there are melons, pumpkins and winter squash germinating and getting an early start. We plan on getting the eggplant, peppers and rest of the tomatoes to the fields over the next week.

The weather has created a few problems. The 70 mph straight-line winds last week put some of the row cover and deer fencing in disarray, snapped a few tomato plants, blew off some roof shingles, and put us out of power for the day. As we’ve mentioned, we lost 2 plantings of peas and the ones that came up are a little thin due to all the rain. Many of the potatoes that were under water are still not up after almost a month in the ground, though we have some hope they are just laying low.

Also a large portion of the 1,200 broccoli plants we have in the field have “buttoned up” (see photo), flowering early and creating a small, small head. Our Extension agent Lala Kumar said that this happens when broccoli is exposed to extended periods of cold weather. The plants are otherwise quite healthy, so we will clip off the small heads and see if new ones develop.

Finally, we have been using our electric tractor quite a lot and it has been wonderful. This time of year it is important to cultivate when the weeds are in the “thread stage”, that is quite small and easy to kill. Creating a weed “free” bed when the onions, carrots, beets, spinach and other crops are still small goes a long way towards helping them out compete the weeds. Check out the video of Rebecca quietly weeding 200 bed feet of spinach.

1 comment:

Gary said...

I am ready for some veggies.
Whole Foods prices are going up and the selection does not seem to be in synch with the season.
So I am ready.
The cold weather may have slowed growth of the crops, but at least we did not have the killing freeze as we had last year.
And hot weather is on the way.
Happy Mothers Day to all of the mothers out there.