Out in our yard sits a trailer full of vegetable seedlings ready to be transplanted into the field this week.
Another trailer of plants sits in the loading dock of the barn, under the roof where it is protected from the hot sun (and the forecasted storms of this past weekend). Most of them are ready to be planted now!
And in the little greenhouse, tucked under the tables, hidden somewhat from the sun & heat are another dozen trays, that have just germinated.
It’s a bit of a backlog right now – 75 trays, each holding 265 little seedlings. That’s close to 20,000 plants looking for a home out on the farm. That’s a bit more than usual!
The reason they have collected is because of the heat last week. We tried transplanting early in the week, but the ground was so dry & dusty and so hot to the touch that the plants couldn’t survive – even with daily watering. (Of course the weeds flourished still!)
So we had to stop and wait for cooler temperatures and/or rain. Thursday night a half inch fell and I planted again on Friday. Another half inch Friday night was very beneficial – see how much better this planting looks.
So with that bit of moisture in the soil & slightly cooler temperatures forecast for this week, we hope to get most of these seedlings into the ground in the next few days.
Today was spent preparing the fields – and it was quite some work! Because it has been so dry, when we have finished harvesting a crop of late, we simply mow it down rather than working it under. This is to conserve moisture. Soil that is covered with plants retains more moisture. Cultivating or rototilling the soil and leaving it bare, dries it out much faster.
But now that we are replanting our fields, we need to have clean, bare soil to transplant into. Today that meant bringing out the tractor & disc which is very harsh on the soil & all the microscopic life that it contains. Then we had to remove weeds & vegetation by hand even, but our crew did an amazing job.
What looked like this in the morning …
… looks ready to plant now.
Overall, the extreme heat & lack of precipitation we’ve been experiencing, will affect the quantity & quality of the vegetables in your CSA share this week, and for the next several weeks.
What’s in the box?
Tomatoes, basil, zucchini, kohlrabi, beets, green onions, salad greens??
extras – garlic scapes.
- It’s tomato time! We picked the first few for our weekend market , and now there’s enough cherry tomatoes for everyone – just a taste, a tease … a promise of what is to come. Enjoy the first of our sun-sweetened tomatoes of the season.
- What goes with tomatoes? Basil! Top your tomatoes with some fresh leaves, add them to your salad, sprinkle them over your pizza, or make a batch of pesto. Your box will have a bunch of basil – either the common Genovese or lemon basil. Both are excellent!
- Zucchini is one crop that thrives in the heat and pumps out the fruit. (Last week I posted a picture of wilting plants. Some appear to have recovered while some still look unhealthy. Fingers crossed they keep on producing – at least until the next planting is ready to harvest.)
- How did you enjoy the kohlrabi last week? It’s often an unknown vegetable for our new CSA members – and often becomes a favourite. It’s a great snack – simply peel and eat!
- Beets & green onions are vegetables we keep planting all summer. A lot of those trays of seedlings on the trailer pictured above are beets & green onions. Enjoy both in your box again this week. Hopefully that inch of rain will be enough to get them growing again!
- Our salad greens are the most affected by the weather. The lettuce gets stronger flavoured and even bitter, spinach, bok choy & arugula go to seed rather than grow lush & large, and baby kale gets tougher. ( for example … only a few CSA boxes contained a small bag of spinach last Friday. Where we would normally expect to harvest 150 bags, we picked about a dozen.) But we will do our best to find some tasty greens for the box this week.
- This is probably the last week for garlic scapes. Grab a bunch if you would like some.
Around the farm this week …
Peppers & eggplant enjoying the sun!
Milkweed in bloom.
Our next planting of zucchini & cucumbers. 100% of the cucumber plants died, but almost half the zucchini survived and are now growing well – good thing we planted more than usual!
Sage deciding on her next adventure …