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Sunday, June 15, 2008

The State of our Garden

It's almost summer and that means new crops coming in. We have peas (snow, snap and shelling), raspberries, beet greens, garlic scapes, red salad turnips, broccoli, basil, oregano, zucchini and green onions coming in now. The spinach is over, the asparagus is over the lettuce is nearly over. Spring mix we thought would be nearly over but now that it is getting cool again we will do another planting of it and see if we can keep on cutting it through early July. Radishes are about done too, maybe another 10 days of harvest.

The tomatoes we started in mid April in a hoop house all have green fruits on them. None are full size yet but soon they will be and than after a 100 year wait they will ripen to either red or yellow. Why does it take FOREVER for the first tomatoes to ripen and than after that you can barely keep up with the harvest?

The early pepper plants (also started in a hoop house in late April) are about 2.5' tall and are in full flower. Ought be getting tiny green peppers in a week or so. this is the first time we have tried early peppers and so far it has been a stunning success. they are 3x to 4x bigger than the peppers we put out 10 day ago and, as I already mentioned, in flower. If things continue as they have been, we should have the first green peppers at market in Oxford. Usually we have the last peppers.

We planted zukes and cukes early in a hoop house. The zukes have been poky-not many flowers and mostly male flowers which do not give us zucchini. We need female flowers for squash. the cucumbers were coming on strong in May and than the voles found the baby cukes and ate every last one of them. #@!!^^&%*(% voles. We set up traps and caught many but not all of them and than the cuke beetles exploded and started ravaging the cuke and zuke plants so it was decided to pull the plastic off of the hoop house about 8 days ago to see if that would not break the cycle of bugs. It did not, but it did make the voles go away (or maybe we killed them all) so now, a month later, we have some 1/2 sized cucumbers on the vines and should be able to harvest a few this coming week. Pulling the plastic also allowed more pollinators in the area and also made it a lot easier for us humans to work around the plants. Hoop houses and 92˚F days do not mix what so ever. I have noticed since the plastic has come off the zukes are producing a lot better. It must have been too warm for them and now they are much happier.

All in all, the market garden is doing very well. We have all but 22 beds filled up with crops and those will be planted with potatoes, dried beans, popcorn, green beans and likely spring mix. We have been getting too much rain but the garden drains extremely well so we are not getting too much rot. I have found a couple of rotted kale plants and some seeds have rotted in the ground. This has been especially true of the French filet bean seed and some winter squash. If it decides to dry up we will be in great shape. If it decides to do to us what has been done to Iowa, Wisconsin and much of southern Indiana than we will lose the entire crop planted to date and will be pretty well screwed for the summer. But will likely be able to plant for fall and winter.

Being an optimist I will figure things will continue as they have so far this season which has been the best we have ever had, thus far.


Carolyn said...

Hi Lucy!

It's Doreen's Friend Carolyn.
I recently got intrested in eating locally and supporting area Farmers.That's how I just happened across your Blog. I am adding you to my favorites. I will be checking back soon!


Carolyn said...

I also wanted to let you know about my new yahoo group.

Locavores try to eat as much as possible from local farmers and producers. If you've found a great source for locally-grown and locally produced foods, post it here! If you're looking for a local source, here's the place to ask.

We share information about local foods – sources, methods of food preservation, community supported agriculture (CSA), co-ops, u-picks, farmers' markets, herdshares, sustainable agriculture, winter markets, family farms, farmstands, roadside markets, local vineyards and wineries, foraging, and more.

We're for anyone who wants to get more local foods into local diets. Chefs, growers, producers, consumers, food writers, educators and students are all welcome. Farmers and producers, please join us. Our members want to hear about your local food products and how to get them, winter or summer.