Peregrine Farm News Vol. 10 #17, 5/29/13

What’s been going on!

The glorious weather is gone but it was amazing to be in the high 30’s on Saturday morning this late in the spring.  We took great advantage of the last coolish days to give the blueberries a final weed eating and hand pruning, ready for the pickers.  The first small batch of berries were harvested on Monday, second pass through today, they look great!  With the impending heat it will be all hands on deck next week for sure.

Almost all the peppers are now in the ground, Jennie and Liz did a great job, helped by the soil moisture being just right for cutting the furrows in the no-till area which resulted in maybe the best planting conditions we have ever had.  There are many difficulties in working with small scale no-till most of which are equipment related.  In large scale no-till they have the advantage of bigger tractors, more horsepower and heavier steel to manage the cover crop and to put plants in the ground and of course in conventional farm systems, herbicides to kill the cover crop.

In our system we have a small, light, tractor and lighter cutting disks to cut through the thick cover crop and open the planting furrows.  The biggest problem we usually have is that the massive cover crop sucks all the water out of the soil making it so hard that the cutting implements can’t open the soil well.  Not this year, following last week’s 3 inches of rain, it had dried out just enough to work beautifully yesterday.  It makes the hand planting of the peppers twice as fast.

We are getting painfully close to finishing up the building project with the septic system finally going in this week (held up by too much rain) and the bathroom floor and fixtures being finished up by the end of the week too.  All that leaves is trenching in the water line and the electrician finishing up the plugs and lights, we can then call for a final inspection and get the power turned on.  Can’t happen soon enough, we have no business working on a building project during the busy spring season.

Picture of the Week

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Happy pepper plants in no-till left and landscape fabric right

What’s going to be at the market?

The flower department is looking more bountiful.  Fragrant Stocks in multiple colors.  Tall and graceful Larkspur.  Snapdragons.  Plenty of Sunflowers.  Spuria Iris, the really tall and multi-colored iris, a great long lasting flower.  Fragrant Oriental Lilies too.  Beautiful Bouquets of course.

I will say this in my small indoor voice blueberries.  Not a lot this week but plenty coming next.  Last week for Sugar Snap Peas, a planting only lasts two weeks.  We always have the most beautiful and sweetest Sugar Snaps at market, a small crop this year so don’t miss out.  Still light on lettuce but we will have the new Little Gem a sweet bibb type and the first of the crispy and sweet Summer Crisp in Red and Green.

The new crop of Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale, is really beautiful, time for those raw Kale salads or Kale chips.  The last Broccoli Raab for this spring.  Great Beets with Red, Golden and the striped Italian Chioggia this week.  Spring Onions Red and Green.  Leeks are back!  Dill and Italian Parsley.  I had hoped to have some beautiful radicchio but the deer slipped in and helped themselves to it first, damn them.

As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

If you know folks who you think would be interested in news of the farm then please feel free to forward this to them and encourage them to sign up at the website.

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