After a weekend away for a family reunion, it seemed by all the progress made in my absence that I must have been away for ages. I guess I should go away more often. Just a week earlier it was rainy, cloudy and cool for a several day stretch. We were concerned by some yellowing leaves and spots appearing on the peppers and eggplants. The arugula wasn’t looking so hot either. Concerned enough to have our extension agent come pay us a visit and walk the fields. Good news! Not only did our agent reassure us that it was just the cool weather and lack of sun causing our woes, but he actually praised us on how good everything looked. Particularly the tomatoes planted in low tunnels which are starting to flower.
Low and behold upon my return everything had bounced back and had grown gangbusters. It really seemed as if summer arrived in my absence. I almost missed our strawberry season entirely. Our berries are a variety called Earli-glo which is known more for there flavor than size and yield. They are delicious this year and going fast. We are nearly done picking. We plan on maintaining the plants and keeping them for another year. They may have been planted a bit late last fall which could have impacted the yield as well. This summer they will have a chance to get more established.
In addition to strawberries we are harvesting loads of lettuce, kale, chard, bok choi, a spring salad mix and a stir fry blend as well. The heads of lettuce are enormous and gorgeous, like if the Jolly Green Giant decided to grow an afro. Beets & kohlrabi will begin this coming week. I took requests from CSA members to expand our beet selection with Touchstone Gold and Chioggia from Johnny’s. This gives us a red, gold, and bull’s eye beet selection.
This coming week we are switching gears and getting back to placing some emphasis on our soil. We have delegated about 25 acres to rest fallow this season as an investment so we can build our soil. We will not plow or till these areas. Rather we are drilling a green manure crop of buckwheat and cow peas. They will choke out weeds, add a good deal of organic matter, and fix nitrogen. I’ll admit we’ve never planted buckwheat and I’m excited to see it. When I mentioned this to our beekeeper his ears perked up too. Buckwheat honey is darker in color and higher in antioxidants. I hear it’s healthier than other I can’t wait to offer it on the stands.
Speaking of the stands, we are opening up Jones Mill & Mass Ave this weekend. Jones Mill has a new look that I am very excited about. I’ve been working with Park and Planning this winter to scoot the stand further away off the road and create a safer and more enjoyable environment. I think we got a few more parking spaces for our customers as well. Stop by this weekend for all your farm fresh produce. Have a great week.