Heat Wave

The three- (or was it four?) day heat wave we experienced a week ago continues to haunt us. While Liz and I have recovered from it, the trellised sugar snap peas have not. Peas don’t like hot weather and our trellised peas suffered tip burn. I expect very few peas from these plants. Since they were the main planting of peas, shareholders won’t get as many as I’d hoped.

Other lingering consequences of the heat wave: bolted cilantro, flowering marjoram, some bitter lettuce and very stressed and dying eggplant. The first planting of eggplant was fending off an attack of flea beetles when the heat wave hit. Flea beetles had been nibbling on the eggplant leaves for a few weeks, but the eggplant was still growing and there was a good chance the seedlings would out-grow the beetle damage. I think the stress from the big temperature fluctuations were just too much for the eggies. Liz and I pulled many of them out and planted eggplant donated by a fellow grower, Judy Lieberman of Brookwood Community Farm. Following the suggestion of Greg Maslowe, grower at the Newton Farm, I sprayed a mix of Surround (koalin powder), Safer Insect Soap, and fish emulsion on the eggplant. Just wanted to give it a little protection from the flea beetles. Two days later and there’s not a flea beetle in sight. Well, at least not on the eggplant that I sprayed.

On happier notes, our tomatoes and peppers look spectacular! The first small plantings of summer squash and cucumbers are flowering and fruiting. The watermelon and cantaloupe are growing well. All love hot weather. The fava beans, which are a cool season crop and are planted in partial shade, are doing well and will be ready for harvest soon. Swiss chard has sized up, as have the pearl onions, leeks and torpedo onions. Green beans have flowered and we should see beans soon. Our basil …. it’s just lovely! And the beets — these babies sweeten up when it’s hot and dry and are they ever tasty right now!

We’re sharing our crops with a teenage woodchuck living under the land owner’s garage. Not much I can do about him there except set up a trap baited with carrots. (I don’t know why he’d go into a trap to eat since he’s got an acre of veggies at his disposal.) He seems to like carrot tops. Since the carrots are full sized I’m reluctantly willing to give him the tops. He also likes green bean tips and is very slowly nibbling his way through our third bean planting. He seems to have forgotten about the baby lettuce. He started eating it two days ago, but is leaving it alone now that I’ve deployed the flash tape that Amanda at the Waltham Farm gave me.

Liz has posted some nice photos of our vegetables on her blog. Check them out: www.LizGreen.blogspot.com