Peregrine Farm News Vol. 14 #14, 5/19/17

What’s been going on!

Always something new or at least a new twist.  Birds are a common problem in blueberry fields but our losses have always been relatively small and we lived with them flitting in and out of the bushes.  Last year when we had a very tiny crop as a result of the late April freeze the birds got them all.

This spring’s hard March freezes took maybe half of the blooms but the remaining fruit looked good and with the crazy generally warm conditions they began ripening early, just like all the vegetables some of which have been weeks early.  We could have begun picking last Friday which is a least 10 days early but decided to wait until Monday and then we realized the berries that were turning blue were disappearing, damn the birds are back!

The gold standard for bird protection is netting but we don’t have any, didn’t want to buy any much less have to cover and uncover 100 foot long, seven foot tall rows of bushes.  Big growers sometimes have to build structures over their whole fields to support netting so the mowing and picking can happen underneath.  Not going there.  There are plastic owls and hawks, propane cannons that explode every so often to scare flocks away, not going there either.

Ours are a mix of birds, mostly small birds alone or in tiny groups.  Last year it was cedar waxwings moving through.  We had to move fast so we went with the fun house/disco look.  We ordered, with overnight delivery, scare eye balloons to mimic predators to hang in the field and shiny mylar holographic tape to tie onto the bushes, hasn’t chased all the birds away but enough that we are picking.

Picture of the Week

P1030454

Blueberries, scary balloons, flashy tape can you hear the music?

What’s going to be at the market?

Blueberries!  Small crop this year, sorry chefs, no wholesale amounts.

The lettuce gap is narrowing with green Little Gem back, red and green Summer Crisp and bags of the nice little Salanova heads to make your salad.  Big Escarole.  Three kinds of Radicchio- round red, the milder speckled Bel fiero and the heavy long Sugarloaf perfect for grilling.  Still lots of Spinach.  The return of petit Swiss Chard. The most beautiful Lacinato Kale (a.k.a. Dinosaur Kale, Cavalo Nero…) we have ever grown.  The last week of Broccoli Raab!

Nice bulb Fennel.  Red Spring Onions. The last tiny amount of Sugar Snap Peas!  More Cucumbers and Basil too.  Spring Carrots with orange and purple.  Beets in Red and Italian striped Chioggia.  Plenty of Red Radishes.  Turnips are back for a bit.  Italian Parsley, Cilantro and Dill.

Campanula is here!  Purple, lavender and white.  Snapdragons tall and lovely.  The beginning of a summer of Sunflowers.  A few of Betsy’s beautiful Bouquets!

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.  Just so you know, sometimes not everything listed will be at the Wednesday market.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex, Betsy and Jennie

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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