Monthly Archives: July 2011

Julyuary 16, Time to Prepare the Ark

This part of the world is supposed to be a quarter of the way through its seasonal drought.  In contrast, many of our citizens are probably contemplating whether to light their fireplace pilots and dig out their wellies.  Me, I’m taking the opportunity to do some armchair farming (which is way easier than actual farming) and trying to resist the shadenfreudgasm of not having to be at the Saturday market while the rain pours down in buckets.

Even the deer took cover this morning, holding off on mulching the pathetic bit almost-ripe wheat cover crop (that I sowed a year ago and then rototilled in and then ignored).  The chickens?  Their bird brains told them to get soaked so they did.

We harvested and sold our first tomatoes yesterday; two almost-pounds of Sungold cherries for $4 each.  The big tunnel cost about $2k to build so a simple payback might be a fun milestone to shoot for while the tunnel harvest continues. 

Below are Granadero tomatoes which we will selling as sauce tomatoes.  I love these guys.  Lots of fruit and easy plants to take of.  Branch, sucker, branch, sucker, truss.  Repeat.  No hard pruning decisions.  The fruit all form at about the same time.  None of this 4 big fruit and 3 flowers on the same truss.  Six or 7 fruits and that’s it.

 

We’ve eaten two small cucumbers and can see half a dozen sweet peppers forming (on startlingly small plants – staking will be required) as well as a couple of…er…eggplant fruits?  Right, aubergines.  When we ran out of appropriate plants to grow in the tunnel, we set out things like bush beans and edamame; they will also be producing soon.

Yesterday was the first day that our roadside sign in front of the farm stand had every available food item slot occupied: plant starts, greens, bread, sweet treats, tomatoes, potatoes, shelling peas, eggs.  And I think Linda Gilkeson is putting on a gardening course somewhere since lots of people showed up to buy our winter plant starts.  The idea of winter plant starts seemed absurd early last week when it was (almost) warm and sunny.  Now it makes perfect sense.  And where last year our winter starts may have been a little late (since we had only started the farm a few weeks prior), this year’s plants are big and robust and, just as importantly, the best varieties for the climate.

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Where the weather withers

 

I’m pretty sure I’m a farmer now.  We needed some moisture and got it (and are getting it).  Now I’d like it to stop but that doesn’t seem likely for a while.  The only thing in my personal forecast is more bellyaching.

I must take this opportunity to thank the big tunnel for being there.  The tomatoes might not be happy at the lack of light right now but at least they’re not dying of blight which is a distinct possibility for uncovered tomatoes if the forecast comes true.

We’re off to our good land today to plant out some more cabbages (sure hope we can sell it all in the fall).  Nice day for setting out plants!