Monday, August 3, 2009

Where the heck is the summer going???

I can't believe it is already August. Where the heck did the time get to? We are now at the half way (just about) point for our CSA/Farmer's Market circuit and so far it has been a pretty good run. I am facing most of August without any volunteers coming out to help, so I might have to drum up some new ones. ; )

There are many, many muskmelons in the patch right now, just about a week from ripening. From that point forward, we should have melons of different types over the next 4-6 weeks. There are a couple of interesting heirlooms that many people in this area have never seen before and that should be fun. One of them looks like it has warts all over it, but the plants don't much like heat and are very finicky. A couple of years ago I grew this one and out of my whole row, I got one edible we'll see how that goes this season. I have varieties like Noir de Carmes, Delice d'Table, Canoe, Cane Creek, Emerald Gem, Pepo, Sakata's Sweet, Haogen, Amarillo Oro, Hale's Jumbo and Sugar Baby. There may be a couple more, but I'd have to go get the log book to say for sure about anything else.

Sweet potatoes are vining now and the butternut squash are starting to turn. Those are like fall staples and some of our most popular veggies. The okra is just now coming into its season and I should be picking it weekly now. Eggplant, likewise. Cukes, limas, yellow wax beans and basil are all about a week or two from harvest. Yellow squash is on its way out for now but will put in a brief fall appearance in September sometime. The zukes and patty pans will be in the mix for the next rotation of squash. It sometimes seems like squash are invading the Universe around here, but with the way our summer heat can blast they are one of the veggies you can usually count on. Not always true, though. Last year, we only harvested about 2 bushels off the entire 200 plant squash patch and then the squash bugs sent them belly up in a matter of a 7-10 days.

Grape tomatoes continue to produce but the earlier season tomatoes are starting to poop out a bit.The late patch is looking good. Unfortunately, some of the more exotic heirlooms are looking a little piqued so I don't know if I will get more than a smattering of any of those. I noticed that some of the peppers are blooming again, but with the heat returning, I think we may not see the biggest harvest of those until later in this month. The corn is most likely done for now, but the late patch is looking healthy and hearty, so we should have one more harvest before the end of September. Field peas should come in by the end of the month or possibly the first week of September. There are several interesting heirlooms planted and I hope they make enough to have at least two rounds of those.

It is that time of the season to start planting for fall and we have several things already up and growing. I planted 14 rows of sugar snap peas and they are all popping up now. Most of the fall greens are really fast growing, so we won't plant those for another couple of weeks. When nighttime temps fall a little, that is the time to get those in the ground. Exception to that is kale, collards, beets and carrots. I will be prepping beds for roots later this week, as well as lettuce. I will plant my final annual herbs this week, also.

Hope everybody is enjoying the weather this summer. It has been a welcome change from last summer. We have missed most of the rain that has occurred around us and continue to have to use the irrigation well, but overall, it has been a great year to be a farmer!!