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Farm Update, August 6, 2016

Finally this week we caught a break.  A break in the weather with cooler midday temps and less humidity.  A break from extinguishing “fires” such as malfunctioning well pumps and invasions of cucumber beetles.  We recruited some reinforcements to help keep up with the picking and even got to play catch up with the weeds getting them back under control.  One evening mid-week I got to show my good friend Robert Lighthouse the farm. If you enjoy blues music as I do, and have ever heard Robert play, you can appreciate what a treat this is.  We built a fire to grill a couple steaks with fresh picked vegetables, cracked open a few cold ones and played our guitars.  We caught my brother Jeff, the real farmer, as he was finishing up on the tractor and asked him to join us while our dogs wrestled and raced through the pasture under a new moon.

This past week we harvested around 250 cases of beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes and over 100 flats of cherry tomatoes. If you are dreaming of ways to capture “summer in a jar” definitely take us up on our canning tomato special, $25 per case.  Host your own saucing party.  Serve aperol spritz and Peronis in frosty mugs, set up the bocce ball in the backyard, open the windows, turn on the Olympics.  Everybody has a role, get to work and have a blast.  Each household should end up with a case to get them through the winter.

We are filling all our orders on squash, peppers, eggplant, basil, okra, kale, chard, lettuce, and beets at the farm.  We are coming up short on cucumbers and beans, either due to the excessive heat, the bugs, or a combination of the two; and having to supplement from neighboring farms.  In all honesty it’s kind of nice catching a break from the bean picking, although it will just take a week or two to be back in full production.

This week we finished our second planting of brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, which reminds me that fall is just around the corner.  We should have an excellent selection of purple, white, cheddar, and romanesco varieties come mid/late September.  We are also preparing a one acre bed for our first ever strawberry field getting planted in early September.  Very exciting.  This morning I’m scheduling soil testing and looking at different cover crop mixes to plant in the areas which we have either finished harvesting or haven’t utilized but need to prep for the next season.  I contemplate mixes of winter rye, crimson clover, and hairy vetch to the tune of Blue Skies, enjoying the moment knowing full well that’s all it is.  A fleeting moment of smooth sailing.

On the back burner I’m awaiting the opportunity to host our first event at the farm.  Thinking of calling it the Guitars & Goats, Tomato Barn Jam.  I’d love to incorporate a tomato festival as the central theme.  Tomato picking, canning classes, sauce making workshops, salsa smackdowns, you name it.  And of course live music.  Perhaps Salsa?  Anyways, we are probably looking at a Sunday in September so stay tuned.  That’s the scoop.  Have a great week everyone.

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