Heat Wave brings Vegetables and More…

July 14, 2010

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Since our last post the temperatures and the growth of our plants, pigs and chickens have sky-rocketed. With temperatures reaching into the mid 90’s our crops are getting a good lesson in withstanding heat, as we reduce the amount we water. We’ve decided to cut back on watering the plots every day, now that our roots have established themselves in order to make sure we aren’t consuming more water than necessary and also with the hopes that this will make our plants stronger, thus making the seeds that we save able to withstand the varied weather pattern of New England. That being said, a majority of our plants are flourishing. We’re harvesting rainbow swiss chard, romaine lettuce, summer squash, kale, radishes, beets, escarole, mesculin mix, zucchini, sweet peppers, peas, carrots, hot cherry peppers, and onions.

We are happy to report that we are approaching our third week of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Our harvests have filled our CSA baskets to the brim, so much so that we have decided to expand the number of CSA members we serve from six to nine!

Our excess produce, along with our jam and pickles are being sold at our roadside farm stand on Mt. Washington. We are partnering up with the Blueberry Hill Farm of Mt. Washington, exchanging our maintenance  work for their blueberries, so we can bring fresh organic blueberries to our farm stand! We plan on holding “Farm Stand Days” with live music, arts and crafts and delicious produce. In the meantime we’re working on the aesthetics of the farm stand so we can better attract passerbyers.

We’re also working on getting our residential cooking license so we can sell our jams, pickles and baked goods at the Sheffield Farmers Market, in addition to the produce we’ll be selling there starting July 30th.

Pests, pests , pests, and some more pests. We’re dealing with almost all of the most common vegetable pests, including cut worms, cucumber stripped and spotted beetles, cabbage worms, Japanese beetles, aphids, corn borer beetles, slugs and crows. We’re working with a field that has been hayed for quite some time, allowing pest populations to thrive. We’re trying not to get too worried but its hard when you show up to the field and two hundred corn seedlings have been ripped out by crows and all the soy bean leaves have been devoured by the Japanese beetles and pesticides are not an option. We introduced ladybugs who are known to eat other insects and planted flowers to attract wasps, bees, and deter non-beneficial nematodes and aphids. We’ve consciously gone light handed on our weeding in order to create a habitat that is hospitable to spiders and other insects that prey on the destructive pests. The most satisfying pest control practice has been  hand picking the bugs off the plants and squishing ’em in between our fingers.

As we all get more accustomed to the daily tasks of farmers we are getting better at dividing our time and focusing on energies on specific tasks. We’ve got big plans for grants, secondary products, educational workshops, a community kitchen, food and social justice work, additional farm stands and a load of other stuff…but we’re trying to take it one step at a time. And  can we just say…we’re beyond excited to announce OUR TOMATOES WILL BE READY SOON!! We’ll check in soon!


2 Responses to “Heat Wave brings Vegetables and More…”

  1. I love your slide show. Your photos are awesome.

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