Monday, July 20, 2015

What's coming this week: Farm Share # 8 - July 23, 2015

Crocosmia - coming soon to SMF

July 20, 2015

Good morning, farm friends,

It's been really hot and summery.  The vine crops like winter squash and watermelon are spreading and blooming, the fruiting crops like squash and tomatoes and beans are coming in well, and every day there are things that must be picked so they don’t get too big or damaged by rain.  The world around here is kind of green and jungly and muggy.

At the same time, Robin and I are focused on planting for the fall (spinach, daikon radishes, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, etc.) and learning about growing greens in a high tunnel, something we hope to do this coming winter.

One of the fun parts of farming, is learning and experimenting.  This year Rob and I have tried out a few new techniques to increase our efficiency and productivity and the quality of the crops.  This is an ongoing effort and pleasure.

Recently we planted carrots and planted a few beet seeds in the bed at the same time.  When the beets germinated, Rob used the new flame weeder to burn off any tiny sprouted weeds and weed seed before the carrots actually came up.  Now the carrots are up and so far, they seem weed-free.  That could save us lots of time and help the storage carrots get a strong start.

Another new technique is using heavy-duty plastic to smother weeds and weed seed before planting.  Any time an area is harvested, even if just a few days will go by before it is replanted, the plastic goes down.  At the very least it will weaken the weed plants so the crops can grow better.

This year we have used a lot more light weight “agricultural cloth” to protect certain crops from flea beetles, cabbage worms, and more.  The result includes arugula with no bug holes!  The tricky bit with this technique seems to be remembering to check under the cover often and weed the bed if needed.

I am really glad we keep figuring out and trying new methods, especially when they work so well.

SHARE # 8 - July 23, 2015
This week we will be picking:
Endive frisee?  Almost ready...
Punterelle?  This is new to our farm, not sure how long to let it grow.
Greens - kale, chard, chicory
Sweet onions
Eggplant?  A few look very close…
Salad turnips
Flowers - zinnia, echinacea, calendula, yarrow, and more.  Crocosmia is in bud.

The PYO garden will have parsley, snap peas, beans, some flowers, and the first of the cherry tomatoes!

That's all for now,
Robin and Laura

Sweet Morning Farm
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337

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