June Farm Update

Yeow! Summer has arrived. Lots of moisture in the soil coupled with this intense heat — this is just excellent growing weather. We’ve still a few cool season crops to enjoy (peas should be ready this week!), but soon enough we’ll all be eating tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.

Speaking of tomatoes, I tied three beds of them this morning. This involved weaving string through the tomato stakes and around each tomato plant to keep them growing up rather than flopping onto the ground. The plants have many blossoms and most have radish sized tomatoes on them. Last year we had tomatoes the first week in July; I hope we do as well this year.

We’ve ghostly white eggplant seedlings in the field. Flea beetles discovered the eggplant sometime last week and have been feasting on the leaves. This shouldn’t be a problem: the seedlings are healthy and they’ll likely out grow the damaged leaves. I thought a little added protection would be nice, so I sprayed this morning with kaolin, (brand name Surround), a white liquid clay powder (approved for organic farming). Some folks have noted a decrease in the number of flea beetles following kaolin application on eggplant. Apparently, when insects land on clay covered leaves they don’t think “food”, they think, “ugh, clay” and they go away. We’ll see.

I started planting sugar snap bush peas on March 30 and they will be ready for harvest later this week. These are pick-your-own peas. There will be containers in the barn for you to pick into. The beds that are ready for picking will be marked with orange flags Here’s a tip about picking peas — hold the pea in one hand and the vine, close to the pea, in the other hand. Snap the pea in an upward direction. This method prevents you from yanking the entire pea plant out of the ground. We are also growing trellised peas – a nice treat for those of us who prefer to not bend over to harvest. The trellised peas are just flowering now; I expect they will be ready for picking in a week or two.

Preservation Shares
The first installment of the Preservation Share will be distributed this week. This week, the fifteen adventurous people who signed up for this new share will take home 8+ pounds of napa cabbage. There’s going to be a lot of sauerkraut and kimchi fermenting this week.