Field Report–August 9

Noah picking kale for market

Noah picking kale for market

We spent a lot of time at the farm this week, making World Peas CSA deliveries of kale, heirloom tomatoes and beets.  Plus we harvested for the Thursday farmer’s market.  Noah will be glad for a week off at his grandmother’s house and the beach.  He’s gotten really good at picking and bundling chard and kale–my week is going to a lot harder without him to help me!

Everything has been growing pretty well.  The tomato plants are huge and the fruit is finally starting to ripen.  (Though we had more than half an inch of rain Friday night, so we’ll see if what’s on the vine is now all cracked.  There’s always a new challenge.)  We’ve got a great selection of heirlooms, and they’re absolutely delicious. We had a bit of a scare with late blight, but the lab results came back in our favor.  (phew!)  I’m not even bothering to cook the tomatoes right now, but am just eating them straight for lunches (or with some fresh mozzarella and a leaf of basil).

We are still awash in zucchini.  Everything I cook these days has some zucchini in it somewhere (sometimes hidden).

Last night Tracy spent some time canning leftover tomatoes from the market.  She’s already canned jalapenos and zucchini pickles.  Lots more canning to come.

chard beans and tomatoes

Rows of chard, beans, and tomatillos in the field.

The greens are holding up well against the heat, though the peppers are struggling a bit.  When the days and evenings are too hot, they stop setting fruit.  So we’ll have a lull in our sweet pepper production for a few weeks.  (You can see from the photo above that we’ve finally got the weeds in the paths under control, though I can’t say the same about the weeds in the beds yet. )

With the most recent beet delivery, we have an entire empty row.  I’ll clear out the weeds and fertilize and plant some fall greens (I need to start some seeds indoors today!) in the next week or so.  We’ve been planting kale and cabbage and lettuce seedlings in empty bed space, as well as seeds for cilantro and chard.  Seed germination has been spotty because of the heat and dry weather, but we’re doing all right.

big kale

A row of kale in the morning sun.

Right now we keep hoping that the tomato and tomatillo harvest will really come through for us, so that we can make all our World PEAS CSA deliveries and also have lots to sell at the market.  With early failures of snow peas and beets, the tomatoes are our big hope of getting close to breaking even for the year.  So much depends on the weather and late blight disease problems over the next few weeks.

Next week is a big one, with the start of hot pepper World Peas deliveries, plus larger heirloom deliveries.  With all the harvesting, it’s hard to make additional time for weeding, and side dressing with fertilizer, and planting new seeds and seedlings, but if we take the time now, the autumn will be a lot more productive.

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