Peregrine Farm News Vol. 16 #16, 5/16/19

What’s been going on! 

Blackberry Winter rolling right into Blueberry Summer.  Three mornings in the 40’s two in the low 40’s maybe high 30’s, cold enough to give a little damage on the tender basil leaves.  A few glorious days but starting tomorrow we head straight into the oven.  One forecast I looked at has fourteen straight days in the high 80’s and low 90’s!  That will push all of the summer crops and strain the last of the cool season crops.

In preparation we have opened the tunnels wide for good air flow and have given all crops a big drink of water and will head into our summer irrigation routine of every other day watering to keep everything moist and happy, got to keep those tomatoes growing strong and filling out the fruit!

The blueberries will ripen fast too and while we will probably pick a few tomorrow the season will start in earnest next week and last a little over two weeks.  We are still looking for more blueberry pickers, if you know anyone who might be interested please have them contact us.  This is not pick-your-own but paid work.  We pick every weekday morning, 8:00-noon.  We will take folks who want to pick one day or every day.  $10 an hour, cash.  It happens to be the most enjoyable harvest job on the farm, cool mornings, birds singing, stand up work.

Picture of the Week

 IMG_20190516_121507Tomatoes looking great, almost to the top of the trellis and wide open, ready for the heat.

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Peregrine Farm News Vol. 13 #24, 7/29/16

What’s been going on!

Ah the Dog Days of summer how grizzly can you be?  It has actually been a few years since the hottest period of the year was during the end of July when, statistically, it has always been.  Recently the hottest stretches have been in June with days of 100 degree temperatures.  But as we know in the South, it’s the humidity that is crippling.

With all the rain in the last months it gives the atmosphere plenty of water to work with.  I noticed one day this week the dew point (the point at which air is saturated and the water starts to condense) was 77 degrees in Carrboro, quick research showed that the dew point has only reached 80 degrees eight times since records have been kept at RDU and the highest ever was 82.  So while not the Amazon, it has been plenty hot and humid the last few weeks.

Here at the farm we are actually getting quite dry, it has been two weeks since we have seen any water falling from the skies.  All of the intense storm cells have passed just north or south of us.  Last evening when I was walking across the farm there was a hot dry sirocco type wind.

Jennie has been doing a great job of managing the irrigation and keeping everything moist and growing.  Together with Trish they have worked through these hot days harvesting tomatoes, planting flowers, the first fall vegetables and other maintenance that has to be done.  These are the days that make you know you want to be a farmer!

Picture of the Week

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Hot sun glaring off the tunnels

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Peregrine Farm News Vol. 12 #15, 6/17/15

What’s been going on!

Ugh!  100 degrees.  It could have slipped up gradually but instead it had to go straight up from the low 80’s to near the century mark.  It is all about early mornings, shade and lots of water, both for the plants and the farmers.

At least the hot and dry waited until most of the spring crops were finished.  It reduces both the amount of water we need to irrigate with and the amount of time it takes to get the whole place watered.  We can only irrigate a half an acre at a time due to the distance we have to pump water and the size of our pump.  Right now it takes us nine hours to water everything, every other day.  If it had hit a month earlier it would have taken 12 hours or more.  We try to irrigate as early in the day as we can so the water will be more effective except for the remaining greens which we water last so that the evaporative cooling effect is the greatest in the heat of the day.

Even with very efficient drip irrigation we are still pumping about 10,000 gallons of water every other day just for our acre and a half or so.  You can imagine what those farms in California have to pump for thousands of acres of crops where they get almost no rainfall!  At least we might get a little cooling and rain from the remnants of Tropical storm Bill, this weekend before it heads back towards 100 next week.  Stay cool out there!

Picture of the Week

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Weeding in the peppers, chasing the shade across the field

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