Monday, October 1, 2007

Its Monday again....

It is Monday morning and my week end is over. Of course, we don't have weekends in the same sense that everybody else does. Farm work is seven days a week, as many hours as it takes to get it done. Sunday is the one day of the week that we slow things down a bit and usually only work in the fields for 3-4 hours instead of our usual 8+.

Today is a picking day. We will pick everything that is harvestable in certain areas of the gardens today for our CSA pick up tomorrow. CSA is a farm share, where our members have paid for a share of our harvest for a specified period of time. Our CSA runs for 30 weeks from April until November. This year, because of the drought in our area, we have taken several
weeks off to give things a chance to catch up, so the 30 week period will not finish up until sometime in December. Each week, we pick and prepare for each member a "share" of whatever was harvested on their picking day. This week we potentially have butternut squash, a variety of eggplant, grape tomatoes, arugula, okra, basil, field peas and possibly some greens if there are enough to go around this week. We also have sweet potatoes almost ready to dig and stored onions from earlier in the summer. All of our greens are about a month behind their usual harvest window so we are patiently waiting on them to be ready to harvest. Since most greens are not really good when it is this warm (days in the high 70-lo 80's, nights in the mid-50's). The good news is that they can take our mild winter temps and will continue to grow, even if slowly, until at least January or maybe even February.

Since we "dry farm" or grow with mostly just the rain that falls, having the worst drought conditions since 1874 has not made this an easy year for us but we have managed to keep things going here. We do not have a well for irrigation here at the Farm for several reasons, the main one being the cost involved. Simply didn't have the money for a well this year, but since all indications point to the drought lasting through 2008 and possibly into 2009, we are trying to come up with a creative way to raise the money to put in a well/irrigation system. If you want to send a donation.....

The dry, warm weather has also given the insects the perfect year to go forth and multiply. We still have several insects in the gardens that are usually long gone by this time of year. Iam hoping that the beneficials are as prolific as the non-beneficials and that seems to be the case as far as I am able to observe . A couple of days ago, I discovered a young praying mantis on my front door screen, which I promptly removed to the herb garden and hopefully, a measure of safety. One of my chickens was already eyeing her, but I shooed the hen away. For the last several years, I have had a large female mantis in my herbs and every spring we see the tiny babies everywhere. It can't possibly be the same female, but obviously the progeny keep returning to the same spot. I have also seen lots and lots of other predatory insect activity all over the Farm, so I am optomistic that the balance we have here with our insect population stays in check.

Well, its time for me to head out to pick okra and eggplant....later.