What’s been going on!
Looks like a long gray week, hard to tell how much rain we will actually get but we have to at least plan like we might only be able to do certain jobs on the farm. Jennie and crew hit it hard Monday and Tuesday trying to get as many dry jobs done as possible. Cultivating while the soil is dry and ideal for weed killing, planting before the rains, pruning tomatoes, a job not to be done on wet days for disease purposes and more. At least it will not be as hot as it has been.
The last big planting project of spring happens this coming week, pepper time. In another nod to the impending wet weather we did the final tillage on the beds that we cover with landscape fabric and then laid that fabric so we will be ready to plant next week. Those beds are only half of the pepper field as we the plant the rest into untilled soil covered with a huge cover crop mulch of rye and hairy vetch. That half we will prepare next week after the rains which will make the soil much easier to plant into.
While the season has been delayed with all the cool weather, the heat of the last week has gone a long way towards playing catch up and this week’s harvest will be a big one that will have to be done around the rains and hopefully not in the rain. Cool weather makes for beautiful cool season vegetables so we have to hope for a few more weeks of moderate temperatures to pick the best out of the field.
Picture of the Week
Maybe the best Sugar Snap Pea crop we have ever grown
What’s going to be at the market? Continue reading
What’s been going on?
OK, time for things to settle down weather wise, last weeks cold snap was to be expected but this weeks cold, along with the high winds is more like March than almost May. 31 degrees on Tuesday morning, luckily the gusty winds of Monday died just at dark and Betsy and I were able to pull the big floating row covers over the tomato trellises and the first 2000 celosia plants and all was good. As soon as the wind picked back up yesterday it promptly blew the covers off of the tomatoes, even weighted down with bricks and metal T-posts. High winds all day again Tuesday and they didn’t really die at dark. The forecast was for 39 degrees and light winds so we nervously left the covers off, woke up to rain at 5:00 a.m. and knew we were safe.
Farm Tour weekend coming up and some of you astute observers may have noticed we are not on the tour this year, what!!?? Well after founding the tour seventeen years ago and being on it every year since, we decided it was time to take a break and maybe do something different. Not yet exactly sure what something different might be but we are planning on an open farm event or two this year so look forward to announcements of that, you know old dogs and new tricks take sometime to develop. Otherwise we plan to have a relaxing weekend and hope that all of you going on tour find interesting things at the 40 farms that are open this time around.
What is coming up fast, that we are involved with is this years Farm to Fork picnic, billed by Bon Appetit magazine as the “Country’s best all-you-can-eat feast”, it is much more than that. All of the great chefs, farmers and artisans, the huge tents, music and kids events cover up the fact that this is an important fundraiser for new farmer programs in North Carolina. All of the proceeds go to the farm incubator program at the Breeze farm (where the picnic is held) and to the beginning farmer and apprentice programs at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in Goldsboro. Everyone involved in putting on this amazing event donate our time, products, and skills because it is so important to grow more local farmers to fill both the demand for local food but also to help stem the tide of an aging farm population ( I know I am one of them!). All you have to do is donate your palates and some money for a ticket, it is earlier this year, Sunday May 20th, so hurry because last year this event sold out in just a few days and tickets just went on sale a few days ago.
Picture of the Week
A frosty morning with the tomatoes under blankets and peas warming in the sun