Thursday, June 17, 2010

Weather Woes!

If you think the weather is bad for you -- try farming it!   (See my before and after photos of our tomato planting to the right) 

I have had many challenges  since taking over the farm 10 years ago. But none is greater then what has gone on this spring. I was suspicious early when we had the surprising mild winter related to the El Nino effect. In '05 we had we had a similar pattern, mild winter until mid March with 12"of rain in April and May of '05 . But this
 year it's worse-- at least in '05 June returned to normal. This year June has brought on record rain and cold temperatures.  To add insult to injury here, yesterday June 16th set a record   minimum, maximum for the day, 59 degrees -- previous record 61 degrees.  And to continue pouring it on - an upper level low is locking in off the coast sending us spurts of moisture over the foreseeable future.  

The state of the farm today -- June 17th. 

Strawberry fields still have potential.  A little break on Friday could reopen the fields for a strong harvest this weekend.  This will be the peak strawberry weekend.  Strawberry season will stretch out through July 4th because of this cool weather. 

Raspberries are breaking loose for a good harvest this weekend.  There are possibilities of opening up our u-pick raspberries but I'm unsure when that will happen.

Blueberries show great potential.  The bushes are loaded.  We will get some for the store.  U-pick opens June 24th.  

Lots of peas this weekend and into the future.  Other fields continue to grow.  Because we have some higher ground we were able to get in  some plantings. But, things are growing slowly except for the weeds which seem to like this weather.

Through all of the difficulties, I try to remain optimistic.  This too will pass and our  summer will be great.  Remember Northwest folklore "Summer doesn't begin until July 15th."  

One last note.  When I start to have weather worries I think to myself "I could have a beach front resort in the Gulf."  Let's hope for a solution to that environmental disaster.      


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spring on the Farm

Strawberry Update
The cold wet weather has slowed strawberry ripening somewhat. But overall the timing of our season looks similar to last year. This weekend there might be a scattering of berries in the fields -- a possible treasure hunt for those who just can't wait. For the serious strawberry picker, it could be a time to scout out your favorite field. I also think it's a good time to bring children to the fields so they can watch the progress of the season each week.

The early indicators in the fields look good. There is a good fruit set and still lots of blossoms. The timing of this wet and cold weather is not a concern as the berries are still green. It actually may help give us larger berries. Rot issues are probably not a factor yet, but we do need a dry-out which may come on Memorial Day weekend.

So what this all means is that our first strawberries will be ripe Memorial Day weekend with the best picking from June 5 through June 25th. This, of course, is an estimate. Check back here for updates. The photo on the right was taken last week.

Peonies Please
One of the great flowers of the year is beginning to bloom. The season lasts only 2-3 weeks. So get them while you can.

We have 5 plantings. By Memorial Day weekend we should be picking a plenty.

We will begin picking our first lettuce this weekend.

Squash Breaking Ground
I took this photo of my squash seeds pushing through the crusted-over earth. It was a "wow" moment for me.

The farm has never looked better. Some of these mixed showery days are great opportunities to see the farm with stunning clouds and color shows -- especially at sunset. Come out and walk the farm at dusk and you'll find yourself in virtual solitude.