July Farm Update

Lots going on at the farm this past month. Lots of planting, weeding, harvesting, twining up tomatoes, sampling cucumbers, spotting coyote and wild turkeys. Lots and lots of rain.

First, the veggie report. Our spring veggies were delicious, if I do say so myself! I grew some new-to-me vegetables, most notably fava beans, hon tsai tsi and vitamin greens. But spring is definitely over and we’ve moved on to our summer, heat-loving crops. Our earliest tomatoes are ripening and have been in the CSA share for a week or so. Green peppers and eggplant made their first appearance in the share yesterday. Zucchini and yellow summer squash are doing well. Cucumbers seem a bit out-of-control: We harvested 100 pounds of slicing cukes and 60 pounds of pickling cucumbers yesterday. Crazy!

Weeds, weeds, weeds! July is the month when everything, weeds included, grows at an astonishing rate. The acre that I grow veggies on has an enormous seed bank of pigweed. When the top layer of soil is somewhat dry, we’re pretty good at staying on top of it. We use colinear hoes, a wheel hoe and the BCS tiller set at the shallowest depth to attack weeds at the thread stage of their development. When the soil is drenched with moisture, there’s not much effective cultivating possible. (We’ve received two inches of rain on the farm in the past three days. More is on the way.) We hand weed crops like carrots, cilantro and dill. We walk through the field searching for pigweed that’s threatening to go to seed. I think about what kind of cultivating tractors and which weed killing implements I’d like to own.

More news later. I’m headed to the farm now to watch the weeds and cucumbers grow.