Peregrine Farm News Vol. 10 #21, 6/28/13

What’s been going on!

A bit wet and steamy lately?  This is exactly the weather we used to have nearly every summer back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s which eventually lead us to import the Big Tops from England in 2004.  All organic tomato growers fear this kind of weather which leads to all kinds of leaf diseases (and other problems) that they really don’t have any tools to use to protect the plants.  Conventional growers have many sprays they use on a weekly basis to slow down the diseases.

We have told this story many times but it turns out we have a fungal disease that attacks our tomatoes that no one else has (just lucky that way).  We tried many techniques and materials to try and reduce its effect on our tomatoes including good mulching, raised beds, trellising, pruning, airflow, organic sprays and more, all to no avail.  We did know if we could just keep the plants dry it would greatly reduce the spread of the leaf blight.  Enter the Big Tops, just big plastic roofs to keep the rain off but with good air flow, as a friend of ours calls them “tomato umbrellas”.  It is seasons like this that we are glad we spent the money to build them to insure a luscious crop of fruit.

Besides non-stop mowing and weeding there were two big developments this week.  I spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday turning under the remnants of the spring crops and seeding the summer cover crops on three quarters of an acre.  Followed by a big rain on Wednesday night they should fly up.  It has been several years since we have had conditions for great summer cover crops, this looks to be a good season.  The second is we passed all of our final inspections on the new building and they turned the power on!  Just a few things left to do and Jennie can move in this week, woohoo!

Picture of the Week

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Happy and dry tomatoes

What’s going to be at the market?

It is Lilypalooza, lots of long lasting fragrant pink Oriental Lilies and yellow and pink Asiatics too.  Nikko Blue Hydrangeas and maybe a few white Annabelles too.  Brilliant Zinnias and Gloriosa Daisies (Black eyed Susans), a sign of summer.  Plenty of Sunflowers.    Beautiful Bouquets of course.

Tomatoes!  A moderate supply this week in both the sweeter Ultra Sweet and more balanced Big Beefs in reds and Cherokee purples.  A small supply of the great flavored yellow Orange Blossom and Sungolds.  Cucumbers.  Sweet Red Onions.

Maybe the last week of Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale, is really beautiful, time for those raw Kale salads or Kale chips.  Last of the spring Leeks too.  Plenty of Basil for the tomatoes!

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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