Summer 2014 Weekly Farm Updates - August 13th
It’s been a relatively docile week on the farm, which is nice considering how crazy things have felt over the past month. We received some much needed rain today, and although some of the crew were relegated to chores in the barn, a few of them got caught in a serious downpour while picking the cherry tomatoes. They were soaked to the bone when they finally made it back up to the barn — I felt so bad for them! They’re so tough, that of course there wasn’t a single complaint out of the four of them, but poor Chris Wood was shivering in the walk-in cooler when I asked him to help me with the corn.
This week our members are enjoying the following in their baskets:
- White Corn
- Summer Squash & Zucchini
- Slicing Cucumbers
- Fortex pole beans
- Garden of Eden pole beans
- Northeaster pole beans
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Lunchbox Peppers
- Baby Redskin Potatoes
- Heirloom Tomatoes
I can definitely feel the seasons beginning to shift on the farm. I know we’re only half way through August, but today just had that distinct, “fall is coming” kind of feel. As I drove past the fields and up to the barn early this morning, there were yellow leaves floating down to the ground, and I caught sight of the pumpkin patch, and couldn’t help but get that cozy feeling that only autumn can usher in.
Speaking of the pumpkin patch, I visited it yesterday as I walked around the farm, and it’s coming along beautifully! At one point Steven had worried that we might loose part of the patch, but thankfully he was able to save it. I’m eagerly anticipating the pumpkins, and though the vines are only just beginning to put out blossoms, I know it won’t be long before we’re happily overloaded with fall’s most fun crop. We’re growing a few varieties, and we can’t wait to share them all with you!
I also walked one of the lower corn fields yesterday and I have to admit that every time I heard a rustle in the stalks, I had to remind myself that Children of the Corn was just a movie, and that everything was copacetic on our farm.
The lower field is for later in the season, so the ears are just beginning to form. As I admired the beautiful silks, it dawned on me that some people might not know how the silks work, and why they are even there.
Essentially, every single silk is connected to a single corn kernel, and each silk must be fertilized for that particular kernel to mature. You might have come across an ear at some point in your life, where a few of the kernels were tiny, and misshapen, and that’s because that silk never got fertilized. It’s amazing how tenuous the whole thing is, but really cool when you realize how hard Mother Nature is willing to work to feed all of her creatures, including us.
So next time you’re cleaning off those strands, hopefully you’ll have a new found appreciation for them.
While luckily there are no terrifying children living in there, the chickens are living very close by to the corn, so I stopped to say hello to the ladies on my walk. I’m happy to report that they seem happier, as egg production is back up where we need it to be. We really love our flock, so we’re considering buying a llama to protect our girls. Before broaching the subject with Chris, who takes care of the animals along with Ansa, I told him we were thinking of buying two Bison bulls. Knowing that anything would seem easier after that idea, I assured him I was joking after I got a very worried response, and then shared Ansa’s llama idea. He got on board quickly, as anything that helps him keep the predators out is cool with him. I’ll keep you posted on our decision!
While the chickens are on the upswing, unfortunately the melons are not. What was just three rows of loss has now turned into the entire patch. And unfortunately it looks as if the neighboring patch that is filled with later ripening fruits, is in jeopardy too. It still looks vibrant and lovely, but Ryan has spotted some mildew, and coupled with today’s rain, that spells bad news for those juicy fruits. I’m still holding out hope, so don’t give up just yet!