Things on the farm are starting to come into full swing, despite our later start in the fields! We have already harvested blueberries, green beans, zucchini, summer squash, and lettuce and each week a few new items are added to that list. We look forward to the days of a cooler full of colorful pallets of fresh produce. As always, us farmers are doing our best to keep on top of the pest situation, and keep all the plants watered and happy during the last couple weeks of extreme heat.
One of our new crops this year, lettuce, has been a real all-star. Beautiful heads of Red Sails and Buttercrunch lettuce were our earliest harvest, and we expect several more rounds of lettuce throughout the season. Summer ball summer squash and eight ball zucchini have also been an awesome addition to harvest, coming in early and strong. We have staggered our plantings of summer squash and zucchini in hopes of extending the usual tidal wave of squashes that usually overwhelms us during July.
Many visitors on the farm may see the farmers running all over the property, but not always know what it is they’re up to. In addition to the routine tasks of planting, weeding, and harvesting that our volunteers assist with, every day is filled with interesting challenges and unexpected issues that arise, as on any farm. An irrigation leak, a broken mower, or a sudden arrival of pests can change the whole day in the blink of an eye, and it is part of what makes farming so exciting and full of variety. To deal with pests that arise, the farmers use Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, which is a system to reduce the amount of spray we are using in the fields. We routinely scout for pests, make note of the damage and pressure, and only spray when necessary to protect the crops. We are also trying new methods of pest prevention including row covers and trap crops. Although we have learned some lessons of how to better use row covers for next season, they proved to be successful at excluding flea beetles in the majority of rows we tried. It is exciting to think of using some of these methods in the future to further reduce spraying.
To see the harvest, observe more about our farming methods, and just enjoy a day in the great outdoors, come stop by during drop in hours! We’d love to see you.