Summer Dirt on the Farm, It’s Blowin’ in the Wind

Another one of Tim’s on the farm up close and personals with what is going on in the fields right now. 

Without the .5” of rain we were blessed with last Friday, we’d be in some rough shape in the fields. The 6+inches of rain a month ago have gone into growing plants and clouds that have long since dissipated, leaving behind parched ground that is often too dry to work. Because of that timely rain, many of our fall seedings have taken root, foremost of which are 3 large beds of storage carrots. But, we’re not out of the woods yet, and could use many more inches to catch up. The dream for the right amount of rain fall dances in our heads every year, but we do our best to use our resources to make the best of what water we do or don’t get.

Summer crops are finally coming up for harvest.  The tomato crop, while later than hoped for, looks pretty good. Our field tomatoes this year are a blend of slicer types that were picked for early blight resistance, a consistent problem on our farm. There are more than 12 different types, most of which will look and taste similar. We also have a tunnel’s worth of heirloom tomatoes, which are ripening slowly but surely, and should make their debuts into shares in the next week or two. Because tunnel growing allows for additional frost protection, heirlooms will hopefully extend well into fall this year.

Sweet corn is looking good, with not too much worm pressure. We did have a few planting failures this year, and got some plantings out rather late. Expect sweet corn for 2 of the next 3 weeks, and hopefully more in late summer. Melons won’t be nearly as good as they have been over the past couple of years, due to location of planting and dry weather at the wrong time of growth. We should eek out a couple weeks of watermelons and maybe 2 more in cantaloupes, sun jewels, and charentais melons, but that’s being optimistic. The cold nights have set the eggplants and peppers back too, but both are catching up, and beginning to setting early fruits.

Enjoy the tomatoes and corn this and next week. Despite some pitfalls (which happen every year), we still feel prepared to have a pretty decent rotation of summer crops from now until late September.