7/16/08 Vol. 5 #18

Well we seem to be in the tourist season now.  Last week the National Academy of Sciences, today a bus load of extension agents here in North Carolina for the National Association of County Agricultural Agents meeting.  Next week we have an all day turkey production workshop for 50, put on by our friends at the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.  They were going to hold it down at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in Goldsboro but all their turkeys got eaten by coyotes and they needed a new location that had heritage turkeys on pasture!  In two weeks we might be hosting a big press conference to announce two new endowed chairs in Sustainable Food Systems at NC A&T and NC State.  In three weeks we have 90 civil servants from India coming to see what farming techniques we use.  In four weeks we will be taking our summer break to rest up from all of this activity!  So we have been mowing and cleaning up the place.  Not that we don’t constantly do this kind of maintenance but usually not all at once.  All of the rain has made the mowing more critical as stuff is growing like wildfire.

The rest of our days are as usual, a steady pace of harvesting, planting and crop control.  I had predicted this week to be the peak week of tomato harvest but it appears as if last week actually was.  That week of 100 degree temperatures in early June is probably part of the reason.  When it’s that hot tomatoes don’t pollinate well.  That combined with not a lot of sun last week to help ripen the fruit and we seem to have a drop in production this week over last.  Still we have tomato plants to tie up, peppers and lisianthus to trellis, zinnias to be weeded and lots of flowers to be seeded for next years early crops (already?).  The last planting of zinnias and sunflowers went in the ground this week and the first of the fall lettuce too.  The little turkeys graduated yesterday, their first time out of doors.  It is always surprising how fast these broad breasted turkeys grow compared to the heritage birds and these guys are looking good.  In two weeks they will join the older birds out in the field.

Picture of the Week
Limelight Hydrangeas

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