Monday, August 10, 2009

Farm Season is Half Over

Early August is half-time at the farm. Except for a few transplants of lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower we are done planting. Our main responsibilities are now cultivating, watering and weeding. Every day we pick corn, squash, cucumber and tomatoes.

In Season
  • Tomatoes: Everyday we get more, I have personally picked all of the tomatoes -- 200 lbs yesterday. I have never seen a better fruit set. I continued to starve the plants of water and have not watered any of my tomatoes for a month. I also recommend pruning back your tomato plants on September 1st. Just top them off to stop production of new fruit which you'll never get. Doing this will help ripen the fruit already on the plant. One last tip: pick your tomatoes when they just start to get a little red. Let them fully ripen off the vine. The flavor difference is minimal and you'll end up with more ripe fruit.
  • Corn is spectacular. I'm picking two varieties: Bodacious and Peaches & Cream. Taste it at our corn roaster on the weekends.
  • Cucumbers: I seem to have gotten control of my pickling cucumber fields. I wish I had the discipline to walk away from a field sooner. I finally started throwing away (fed to the pig) the big cucumbers and suddenly the field started working better. I have two more fields coming on in the next few weeks, so we'll be picking a lot of pickles.
  • Squash is coming on big time. Last week we had a big zucchini give away at the concert. Free is always a good price.
  • Flowers are amazing -- Zinnias, Dahlias, Gladiolas, Sunflowers -- come and pick them.
The cool weather is giving me a chance to catch up on the farm. Plus it might help me get a second wind.

Farmer Don