Peregrine Farm News Vol. 7 #13, 6/2/10

What’s been going on?

OK, enough with the wet weather, we need some drying time to get some soil turned over and to keep the diseases and weeds at bay! It is the change of seasons for sure around here. Sunday I mowed down all of the mixed spring vegetable crops except for the beets, lacinato kale and a few radishes. I followed that by mowing down the remaining larkspur, bachelors buttons and other overwintered flowers. Friday I mowed down the majority of the spring lettuce beds leaving only a few beds with the hot weather tolerant Summer Crisp varieties. In some ways it’s sad, but mostly it is relief and time to turn our efforts to summer crops. If we can get a few days dry, I will get all the summer cover crops planted on the freshly mowed areas and the cycle will start again.

The herky, jerky blueberry season continues on. Not a huge crop but very large berries due to lots of rain and fewer fruit on the plants. The birds and squirrels are having a field day, which is usually not noticeable when there are lots of berries but now we can really notice that there are fewer ripe fruit on the rows next to the woods. Betsy draped some fake rubber snakes in the bushes to try and slow them down but it mostly surprises the pickers as they reach into the bush to find a snake on the branch. With the generally cool and cloudy weather they are also ripening at a slower pace so scheduling the pickers has been irregular too. We are trying every other day this week and by the end of the week there will not be a lot of berries left on the bushes, as I suspected the season will be short and sweet.

The turkeys have been out in the hydrangea and viburnum field for a week now and seem to be getting the hang of outdoor life. Some groups of birds are just more flighty and difficult to wrangle. This group, maybe because there are only 30 of them, seem to get along well and self organize better than past flocks. Every morning at daylight we let them out and they come rolling out the door to explore the day, moving around the field in mass. Every evening near dark, with the feeder and waterer already returned to inside the shelter, we go to close them up and they are all inside on their roosts, ready for sleep. Some years it takes multiple chases around the shelter to scoot the last hold outs inside, not so this group, maybe a more intelligent batch?

Picture of the Week

Turkeys in the Hydrangeas on a gray morning

What’s going to be at the market?

Betsy is feeling a bit better about selection this week but it is still a challenge with the cloudy weather. Finally the Hydrangeas are coming on, they look really nice, both white and the Nikko blue. Still great Larkspur but the last of it probably. Betsy’s beautiful bouquets. Plenty of yellow Asiatic (non-fragrant) Lilies. Always some small amounts of beautiful stuff including the first of the Campanula (Canterbury Bells), Safflower and late Dianthus.

Blueberries but the last big week. Summer Crisp lettuce, that crispy sweet cross between Romaine and Leaf lettuces that is hot weather tolerant, in green dappled with Red and intense Red. Lettuce like, we have Escarole, really nice. Also the traditional round red and tall white (Sugarloaf) Radicchio’s. The last of the Easter Egg and the spicy Chinese Radishes. More nice Beets, Red, Golden and the striped Chioggia they are slowing down too. More Cucumbers. New for us this spring Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale. Leeks are back, very nice long shafts. A bit of Spinach but the last of it too. Look for the first tomatoes on Saturday, not many but they are definitely going to be ripe. Probably some Basil too.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

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