We've been falling behind in our blog posting as the season heats up, but we promise to keep up now! This week marks the third week of the CSA and our sixth week of farmers market. We are starting to get in the groove and balance out the farm work, harvesting, and off-farm work, but it still seems like a lot of balls to keep up in the air at one time! What's been complicating things is the near complete lack of rain. For May and June, our fields received about 2 inches of rain. Total. There's been storms around, they just aren't reaching us. On the plus side, we can totally justify the irrigation system investment the farm made this spring. On the down side, we spend a couple hours a day just managing water (which takes us away from other tasks we'd rather be doing).
So far the plants are holding out fine, but you will notice a lot of dry ground in today's pictures! Spring harvests went well... spinach and lettuce mix are wrapping up this week, but peas (and more rounds of head lettuce) are just starting and would love a good overhead soaking:
Beyond harvesting, we are still getting later rounds of plants into the ground. Today we are finishing up seed starting for 130 flats of fall crops (things like late leeks, broccoli, cabbage, herbs, and more). Other plants (melons and lettuce) are waiting for a good transplanting day:
As frustrating as the droughtiness has been, there is one distinct upside, especially in crops that we use drip irrigation on: a near complete lack of weeds! We are trellising tomatoes this week, and you can see below that our cultivation pass almost isn't even needed!
Fortunately, there was enough soil moisture to germinate and grow all of the more sensitive pasture grasses, but in the field, we are turning to the drought hardy buckwheat for a summer cover crop. Here it is starting growth in our first planting of lettuce mix (already tilled in). This is 5 days after seeding, and you can see how bone dry the ground is. After we harvest for the markets, we will get some water on this section to help things out!
More news and pics to follow... until later, please everyone start doing a rain dance. So far the irrigation pond is holding out and the crops are fine, but we'd prefer not to challenge it too much!