It was nice picking our first beefsteak tomatoes this week. I picked them red on the vine yet have them finish ripening on my kitchen counter and can’t wait to slice them up tonight with some fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic. Yum. Walking the farm I noticed sunflowers starting to bloom and discovered some watermelons in the cantaloupe patch which I didn’t even know we had planted. Last week we had some gorgeous days of low humidity and cooler temps (mid 80’s) which I thoroughly enjoyed but apparently the cooler nights led the tomatoes to fussing by curling their leaves. The week ended hot and I noticed a crow on a fence post panting in the sun. I thought to myself if I was a crow I would be in the shade. Made me hot just looking at him.
This year we are hitting a rhythm with picking squash and cucumbers, beans and lettuce. As I arrived at the farm one morning the barn floor was carpeted with curing garlic spread out on pallets. Some experiments have worked out this season while others not so much. I notice the Kentucky bluegrass we planted in the tractor aisles seems to be helping control erosion and the oats we have as a cover crop are controlling the weeds and soon ready to be harvested if we find someone interested or turned into the soil while we figure our next cover crop. Their roots will help to provide nitrogen to the soil.
On the other hand our idea to sow sunflowers right into the ground without irrigation and plastic mulch has not proved so effective. Pumpkins are looking alright. Corn is sparse. Not sure if its a defect in the seeder, or weather impacting the germination rate or rain washed the seed away. We are thinking about transplanting sunflowers so we have more control and consistency. We did this just a few days ago and they have already grown several inches and every space is filled.
Its funny how driving past other farms and seeing how their sunflowers look or how their’s no weeds along their fences or how organized and well maintained their equipment appears influences my notions and ideas for how our farm should be. Sometimes I’m envious sometimes proud. I guess this is part of learning. I recognize this trait in myself as a guitarist or farm market operator and in my daughter as a dancer. Striving to improve by accepting the things you do well while recognizing your weaknesses and what somebody else does better then trying not to take it to heart. Then figuring out a way to “do it more like that”. Anyway, that’s my thought for the week. Enjoy all the produce.