Happy Fourth Everyone!
It’s hard to believe that it’s July. It’s true that the more times you do something, the more routine it becomes and sometimes seems to go by quicker. Though this year hasn’t felt routine, we are getting into more of a predictable rhythm and the year really feels like it’s flying by. We’re already getting ready to prep the field for fall, and by the end of the month we’ll have seeded all of the fall brassicas: Brussels sprouts, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, and more.
The summer crops continue to be a mixed bag. The corn a week ago was amazing, but we’re starting to see too many ear worms, and some of the corn is overly mature. It’s still on the list this week, but isn’t quite as perfect as before, and the ear worms are worse. We’re still able to find good ears out there though for grilling at night! The cucumbers are starting to produce more, and the tomatoes continue to seem like they’re right on the cusp. We’ve seen just a couple of ripe cherry tomatoes. The heirlooms are still looking like they have a week or two before they’re ready. We grow one determinate, hybrid variety that has good flavor for a standard slicer. It’s called celebrity, and the first ones are available now. They are just starting to ripen, so if you ask for tomatoes and get ones that are still greenish, store them at room temperature someplace dry and out of direct sunlight, and they should finish ripening nicely. The flavor of tomatoes is always affected by the amount of rain, and so they’re a little mild right now. Rain isn’t good for their flavor, or for the overall health of the plants, so we’re really hoping that the forecast is wrong and the storms coming the next few days miss us.
The squash plants have really been struggling, but we continue to plant more and there is a decent harvest out there right now. The peppers and the eggplant are just starting to produce, and the okra are close, so hopefully there will be lots of those to come. We are seeing a bacterial infection called bacteria spot on the leaves of our peppers that we had back in 2014, and it was devastating. We’re hoping it won’t be as bad this year, but it might limit the amount of peppers. It’s a tough disease that both lives in the soil and can come onto your farm via seeds, so it’s difficult to control.
So much of what we do is at the mercy of the weather! Based on what we see right now, if it dries out we should have good tomatoes, and hopefully the other crops will come together to make the summer as good as the spring was!