Spring Growth

Spring Growth

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dry Farm

Hello out there!

Greetings from a drier and drier farm. About 4 weeks ago, when it felt really dry, I had the thought that maybe we would look back and think that this was the time when there was adequate water. I feel like my premonition is coming true, and I wish I wasn't such a fortune teller. It is dry, and I feel like its going to get drier yet. We've had less than an inch in the past 2 /12 months. Even the old timers are saying that this is in the top three dry years in their memory. On the up side, we are only getting closer to that coming day where the heavens will open up and it will really pour. (No, that day isn't forecasted, but it will come sometime.)

So, what does this dry mean for the farm? Number one for us, emergency irrigation measures! We have the pond trickle charging from the second farm well almost 24/7. We only turn it off when we're watering the greenhouse flats, or washing on distribution day. Other than that it's trickle trickle trickle. Well, trickle at about 12 gallons a minute. We use little Honda trash pumps to pump the pond water to the fields, and they pump out at about 30 gallons a minute.  All told, we are irrigating fields for about 10 hours a day. Hmmmm, tricky math. Everything is getting enough water to maintain and grow, but no matter how much you irrigate, crops just don't grown the same without rain. There is something special in rain that plastic tubes and metal pumps can't match, and I'm not just talking quantity.

All in all the farm is surviving, and the share looks good. The main effect on the share is the lack of chard and kale in the free choice side. Besides that, the one bag side is the same as other years, with the exception that the tomatoes were extra early. 

Veggies this week:

kale - we are putting this on free choice this week. It has been hit hard by the drought, and the flea beetles (all of you home gardeners know those puppies) had been unprecedented this year. The flea beetles make those little holes in the brassica crops (broccoli, kale, arugula, etc). I think they're worse this year because of the hot, dry weather, and because they're thirsty! They have to poke more holes in the crops to suck our enough moisture for themselves because there just isn't as much juice in each mouthful as usual. Anyway, we're putting the kale on free choice this week in an effort to strip the plants of their flea beetle riddled leaves so that they will hopefully revive and grow back some nice leaves. 
head lettuce - still mysteriously lovely (usually lettuce does badly in hot dry weather)
salad mix - very good this week
green onions
beet greens
carrots with tops - brought to you by pond water
summer squash - ditto
cucumbers - ditto!
celery - new this week. Flavorful!
tomatoes - doing so well this year. 
escarole and endive - free choice. This is the time to try these if you never have. They love this weather, so they're the thing to eat. Google some recipes and have some fun.

beans - still 2 quarts season limit. When you go out to pick, note how you can see the soil between all the bean plants. In a normal year you can't see soil between the paths by the time the beans are ready. This is due to lack of rain.
raspberries - DONE
basil - plenty in the third row from the farm lane. Go down the row a ways.
flowers - unlimited!
cilantro and dill - unlimited

Okey Dokey,
Thanks for you're drought camaraderie!

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