Late June 2013 Garden Update
6/24/2013 10:56 AM
June 24, 2013 Garden Update
Right now it is raining, it seems like it has been raining on and off for days. What a completely opposite year from summer 2012 we are having. We were in a full-blown drought last year and I was concerned when our grounds started to get dry and harden. I was so thankful for the rain a few days ago but now I really want it to pass so I can get out there and continue planting and working the fields. When I woke up this morning I found a wet Chris relaxing on the couch with a cup of coffee. He had gotten up in the wee morning hours before the rain started and planted the rest of the cantaloupe, watermelon and zucchini I had been working on getting in the ground before the first rains started on Friday morning. What a trooper. I love him and his work ethic.
So as of right now, we have an Asian cabbage in the ground called Bilko Cabbage. The flea beetles love it and are creating an interesting sort of lacey pattern on the leaves that looks pretty but is not beneficial to the plant. Boo. We should have put row covers over them the moment we got them in the ground but we weren’t able to. We’ll chalk that up to our lessons learned for next year. We also have beets, bush beans, green beans and radishes starting to emerge from their seeds and make their way through the dirt. The lettuces and greens are looking gorgeous. We just hope to keep the newly aquatinted Rabbit Family away from them. Chris had the big boys out just last night familiarizing them on the safeties and fundamentals of the BB guns—and how to eye a bunny in your scope. Just a few rabbits will devastate a garden in one night. The 225 tomato plants the boys and I planted a few weeks ago have taken to the ground well so far. We now have to go back through them and cover the ground with mulch and straw so the weeds wont establish themselves amongst the tomatoes. We even have a few fruits on some plants! Tomatoes and weeds do not get along and, if not controlled, the weeds almost always win out. Our sweet peas are in full bloom and are giving up pods already. I need to get out there today sometime in between the rains so I can harvest some before they get too big and stringy. I planted lots and lots of Bell peppers, Ancho peppers, and Jalapeño Peppers for our pepper lovers. Along with those we have two types of egg plant in the ground—purple and striped. Our first seeds of carrots and spinach did lousy so we are replanted those again. A wise farmer told me that every year the earth with takes it “tithe” and you never know what its going to be. This year it was our carrots and spinach (so far). In our last field we have a whole bunch of volunteer squash vines coming up from squash and gourds we composted and tried to feed to the chickens in the winter (they were less than interested). That was a bonus, now if we could just remember what they were. We also have cucumbers, Boothby’s Blonde cucumber, a white cucumber, great for both pickling and slicing that I found at an heirloom plant sale. Those went in the ground and I am praying that those survive since they were pummeled during a recent thunderstorm. I finally finished hilling the Yukon Gold potatoes and hope to once more before they flower so we can get the biggest yield. The cabbages, broccoli, leeks, onions, cauliflower and basil are all growing very nicely as well.
We still have lots of work to do. Chris has another field to break ground on, plow then till so we can plant our late summer and cooler weather crops such as kale, kohlrabi, spinach and the like. He also is going to join every other field together instead of having a grassy path to walk on so we have more space to plant. This growing season has had a lot of temperature ups and downs as well as wet spells which has made it difficult to get out and cultivate the ground. A lot of things went in later than planned but, at least, they are still growing and doing well. You will still get them in your boxes, just a little later than we originally expected.
The CSA member picnic/BBQ was a great success! The food was amazing and the company was wonderful. We were so pleased to see so many of you make it out and to meet your families. The children had a great time and kept busy between chasing the chickens, the dogs and swinging and sliding on our “county” playground. We will definitely be planning another one later in the season.
The rains look like they have stopped so I have to get out there and get some sweet peas harvested!
Many Blessings to you all!