Friday, May 22, 2009

Another Perfect Storm/ Strawberry Update

Just when we were starting to think irrigation, a perfect storm on Monday dropped 1/2 inch of rain, thoroughly soaking the farm. Unlike many rain periods we get, this one was isolated. It came, it went. Behind the storm is a long stretch of dry warm weather which could last a week. The timing for this break couldn't be better, as the strawberries continue to bloom and existing berries grow and grow.

Farming continues to go well. The peas are almost ready. We are picking our first lettuce and, once we start harvesting lettuce, we will have continuous pickings of successions until the end of October. This weekend we are planting our third succession of corn, our first big cucumber field, a third planting of beans and 1 1/2 acres of tomatoes.

My early small plantings of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage look average. Some kind of root maggot is getting about a quarter of the plants and those pesky flea beetles are eating holes in the leaves. Since I don't spray, we'll see if the bugs get more of the plants than me. I always do much better in the fall when the problem bugs are gone.

Last night, before heading home, I picked a lone misshapen red strawberry about the size of my thumbnail. I ate it and symbolically began my strawberry season. But before you come out excited about picking, you need to realize that you might find 5 more ripe berries over 10 acres. With this great window of weather, I am starting to think that the first berries will be here on the last weekend of the month. Our favorite flower, Peonies, will also be here in big supply at the end of May.

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