This week’s sunnier days found us back to picking tomatoes which have rebounded a bit. Thursday evening we delivered 100 boxes to our supply depot to be distributed to the stands and the CSA. We have also just started picking squash and cucumbers after a two week pause. We had a bit of a hiatus do to all the rain which destroyed an earlier succession planting but now we are back in business. Cherry tomatoes, eggplant, and okra are prolific and we have some of the healthiest sunflowers I’ve ever seen about to come online.
I’ve also noticed certain beds around the farm where we’ve had to throw in the towel. The weather has played a large contributing role toward crop failure this season. There has been some reassurance from other farmers that it is an anamoly of a growing season in that we have and it has certainly been easier to blame everything on the rain and deer. Jeff has spoken to some growers about using less plastic mulch and relying more on cover cropping the beds then turning it over and planting directly in the bed. One grower told him that they couldn’t justify the expense of the plastic and labor and ended up finding they had less disease and insect pressure which they believed to have been harbored beneath the plastic mulch. The benefits of using plastic are to suppress weeds and contain moisture. Also it can heat up the soil and give you a jump start to the season early in the spring. I do like the idea of reducing plastic all around from the growing on the farm to the bagging at the markets.