8/2/06 Vol. 3 #21

Just when you are at your weakest they always pour it on!  Last weeks weather was bad but this week is just grinding it in.  Good thing we are going on break next week to recover.  After 21 straight weeks at market we are crawling into the mid summer break, and this heat just reinforces why we take it.  We have taken the second week in August off for years now, as a way to get some recharge for the end of the harvest and marketing season.  It is planned for when the first tomatoes crash and before the colored bell peppers really get going.  Now I always refer to it as a “break” and not a vacation because Betsy and I don’t really get to check out.  We give the staff the week off with pay and they usually leave town.  That leaves us here to water, and irrigate, keep and eye on the turkeys, pick a little bit of stuff that has to be harvested, etc.  The break is in not going to markets and doing regular deliveries.  We usually do a few hours of chores in the cool of the morning and then find some kind of diversion in the afternoons, eat a lot, take naps, read and other general sloth.  To that end there will be no newsletter next week and we will not be at market Wednesday 8/9 and Saturday 8/12.

In preparation for all of this we have been mowing old crops down and generally tidying up the place.  Earlier in the year, when I wasn’t thinking clearly, we agreed to have an open house for the company who manufactures the Big Tops (Haygrove).  Well it is today!  Hottest day of the year!  We have tried to gussie up the joint as much as we can but what they really want to see is how well crops do growing under the covers.  Well on top of it being time for the tomatoes to expire we also have those unusual diseases in them as well so it is not exactly a beauty pageant in the tomatoes.  We are so tired and it is so hot that it is hard to muster enthusiasm for having a group of folks here this afternoon, maybe the 100 degree forecast will limit the crowd, only the truly insane will come out to look at the tunnels and with the sweat running down into their eyes maybe they will think it all looks great!  Now the stuff that they don’t want to look at does look good.  The late flowers are doing really well in this heat and the peppers look respectable along with the limelight hydrangeas.  It is so hot that the turnips, radishes and other crops that we need to plant this week will have to wait until early next week to go in so that they don’t just vaporize in the hot soil.

Picture of the Week
Celosias and Asclepias and the proper distance for viewing the quality of the crops in the Big Tops
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