Notes from the Field: August 5, 2013

I don’t know about anyone else, but with recent talk of kids and teachers going back to school and the cooler than normal temperatures we’ve been experiencing lately, I feel like fall is right around the corner!  Last year I was pining for fall; this year I almost feel like I don’t deserve it.  I haven’t suffered enough this summer!  Who knows what August has in store for us though.  My thoughts of fall might be slightly premature.

For a (very) brief moment at the farm it seemed like the weed pressure wasn’t so intense.  With no rain for a few weeks in July, the weeds took a short break and let us play a little catch up weeding.  We’re back in the thick of things now after a few good rains this past week and the germination of a new batch of weed seeds.

Now for a brief rundown of this past week’s happenings on the farm:

Monday’s afternoon shift began with weeding the leeks (about 260 bed feet) and seeding carrots (about 690 row feet Bolero) and cilantro (about 150 row feet Calypso).  We harvested slicing tomatoes as well as zucchini and summer squash.  There is definitely a healthy population of squash bugs in the summer squash and zucchini right now, and I’ve been noticing lots of squash bug eggs on the leaves of the plants during harvest.  We also weeded about 150 bed feet of winter squash as well as seeded sorghum sudan grass in the lower side field where the first successions of beets were earlier this season.

After a cancelled morning shift on Tuesday, the afternoon crew spent the majority of their time camped out in the basement cleaning onions (both red and white).  The process of cleaning onions is simple: cutting the top and cleaning off any dirt and loose skin with your hands.  We then moved outside to weed the next succession of carrots from which we will be harvesting (about 150 bed feet).

Friday morning was spent with the usual harvest tasks on the list.  Although Malabar spinach is a beautiful and interesting plant, I’m pretty sure it’s on the bottom of most people’s “favorite things to harvest” list.  Harvesting Malabar spinach really gets me thinking about pricing certain crops at market to accurately reflect the amount of time that goes into harvesting them.

Friday afternoon we were able to get a big chunk of seeding done in the fall brassica area.  Seeding included: beets (about 110 bed feet – Red Ace, Chioggia, Cylindrical), spinach (about 110 bed feet – Tyee), bok choi (about 70 bed feet – Red Choi, Prize Choi), spicy greens mix (about 70 bed feet – Ovation), arugula (about 70 bed feet – Astro), turnips (140 bed feet – Purple Top, Tokyo Cross), radishes (220 bed feet – Cherry, Daikon, Watermelon.

Saturday’s crew also spent the morning harvesting for CSA shares.  In the afternoon we spent some time cleaning garlic heads and separating them by size.  Unfortunately we do not give out the best looking garlic heads to CSA members; instead we break the heads apart and use these cloves as our seed garlic that we will plant in the fall.  Larger cloves will result in larger heads next season.  We were also able to weed 2 beds (about 300 bed feet) of winter squash.  If there was a day to reach weeded transcendence Saturday was it; with the recent rain and easy to pull weeds I’d almost go so far to say that weeding the winter squash was (gasp!) fun.

It seems like there’s a good chance of rain all week so come prepared to get a little wet.  See everyone this week!

Stephanie and Josh