We found ourselves at the peak of the season this week not only picking all our summer veggies but prepping for fall as well. When I received a call from the farm manager asking if I had a minute I braced myself for some news. Actually it was just a matter of calculating how much acreage we needed to prep our fall crops. We had discussed it at the end of last season but that seems like centuries ago and now the greenhouse is telling us its time to begin picking up transplants of cauliflower, brussels sprouts and other cool hardy vegetables. We need to prep the beds and for the life of me I’m in such summer mode that I can’t even remember if we had a plan or an area reserved for those crops and how to calculate the space requirements. Thankfully I took copious notes last year to walk me through and have all the answers I need this season. Answers in regards to how many plants we have coming and how many to plant per row not to mention where they are going. Sometimes I feel like my field notes are like having a pen pal relationship with myself. Even though I wrote them in the past it feels like a letter from the future or from someone with more experience. I guess its because it was written at the end of last season directing me on what to do in the midst of this one. I realize my memory isn’t what it used to be and my mind is better at processing than it is at storing information so for me having spreadsheets set up with data and direct links to seed catalogs with recommendations for spacing are super helpful.
This week was gorgeous and we kept pace with the increased demand for summer veggies. We met our quota of tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and beans. Peppers are in as well although they are all green at this point. We will leave many on the plants to turn red and yellow then pick them later in August and September. We’ve just started picking okra and harvesting our first few bushels of sugar cube melons. They are delicious. Next week we will experiment with covering our tomatoes with a plastic canopy to protect them from rain which dominates the forecast for the next week. We will use the stakes as center posts and weigh down the edges. I think we will try this on a good sampling but not all since for us it is untested. We’ve developed a theory about our brazen deer population and how they won’t even take off when the tractor approaches. We think it is because they feel an affinity with John Deere. That’s it for now have a great week everyone.