4/20/05 Vol. 2 #7

I can feel the tsunami rolling towards the farm, just over the hill now!  There is always a week about this time of year when the honeymoon is over and we are in the middle of it.  It is a combination of getting ready to plant the big batch of tomatoes and the weather finally warming up enough so that things really start to grow and need attention like irrigation water.  Let’s just add the Farm Tour on top of  the pile while we are at it!  Saturday and Sunday is the Farm Tour.  Our annual opening of the doors to the general public to come see the farm.  Many of you have been on the Farm Tour before and it is a great opportunity to see many of the folks who sell and the Carrboro Market.  Few folks know that the tour was actually Betsy’s brainchild.  Eleven years ago she thought it would be great for customers to be able to go see the market vendors’ farms.  In the end Weaver Street Market sponsored the Tour as a benefit for Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.  Betsy designed the first tour and worked closely with Weaver Street and CFSA on timelines, etc.  Now in it’s tenth year thousands of people go on the tour and it raises thousands of dollars for the work CFSA does.  It is easy to go on the tour.  Just pick up a map at market or Weaver St. or many other local businesses and go to first farm that you want.  The best deal is to buy a button which will be your pass for as many people as you can stuff into one vehicle, for as many farms as you want.  30 farms this year so you will have to choose, it is hard to do more than 3 maybe 4 farms in a day.  In the mean time we will be mowing and picking up around the place, nothing like have hundreds of house guests all at once to make you buff up the joint!  Unfortunately the weather looks a bit mixed for the weekend, Saturday has a front moving in with a chance of rain and then the temperatures dropping with the wind picking up for a brisk Sunday.  Come on out anyway!

We have been moving steadily towards getting the main planting of tomatoes in the ground, got the Big Tops covered, beds prepared, irrigation lines down, row cover laid and today will begin to put up the 1000 feet of trellis to support them all.  It is a lot of work but these luscious fruits are about 15 percent of our business each year so we make sure that it is done right.  While everyone seems to remember us for our peppers (I think it is the hypnotic effect of the roaster in the fall) the tomatoes are a much bigger part of our life.  We have decided to put off the actual planting until early next week due to the weather forecast.  It is critical that they go in the ground and start growing vigorously without any stresses early on, it means much better plants and fruit later.  We had a good frost here on Sunday morning and had a couple of plants in the little tunnels burned a bit so we just want to be careful.  I started the irrigation dance yesterday by getting the pump back down to the pond and pumping water.  Flushed out all of the main lines running up the hill and all across the farm and then the rest of the week we will begin rolling out the irrigation lines, thousands of feet.

Picture of the Week
Just about the whole top of the farm, new flowers in the front, the little sliding tunnels on the left, lettuce in the middle and the Big Tops in the back, come and see it all on the tour.

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