Farm news, Aug 22/2022

We’ll have the following veggies for CSA this week:

Lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, carrots, beets, onions, potato, cucumber, zucchini, tomato, pepper, eggplant, beans, cabbage, dill, cilantro, parsley, basil, green onion

On the farm this week:

Well, I’m so glad we watered all day last Monday, because that night we got 2″ of rain, and that wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t watered so much. The rain was good timing because I also spent all day Monday seeding cover crops. Usually during the summer I plant a mix of oats and peas, but this year I added tillage radish to the mix. I like the oats because they grow fast, die in winter and have both an acidifying and reducing effect on the soil. I’m concerned about this because manganese and iron oxidize very quickly in the soil and are not available to plants in the oxidized form; so I’m trying my best to create a reducing environment. I like peas bc they fix nitrogen and grow quickly. And now I’m adding tillage radish because it grows super long and so ’tills’ the soil. I don’t know if I seeded them early enough to grow long before winter, but if they do will dig some up and stick them in the CSA and see if anyone notices. Here’s where the garlic was that is not sprouted cover crop since the rain.

And it’s now officially tomato season! Our small unheated tomato tunnel is ripening fast now. Today we picked 900 lb of tomatoes! Here’s Morgan hauling out tomatoes from our big tomato house. Last week we cut the tops off all these tomato plants so that they stop producing new flowers and spends all their energy filling out the tomatoes that have already formed because we will be pulling these out in September in order to seed spinach for the winter. This greenhouse is also the worst place to be because the mosquitos are so bad in here! Everyone puts on their winter jackets and bella clavas before going in to pick.

And finally we have spinach back after a couple weeks without it. Here’s Sandra and Tessa picking spinach this morning. Even though it’s hot, the days are getting short, so it’s a good time to grow spinach again. I find there’s a 2 month lag between daylength and temperature. It’s usually 2 months after the longest day that we get the hottest days and 2 months after the shortest day that we get the coldest days. Which is why planting spinach in the spring and summer is so annoying, because the days are either too long or it’s too hot!

Finally, Michelle will be away this week at the Stratford theatre festival, so Sandra will be at the market this week and is very nervous about doing it by herself; so go say hi!

That’s it for this week,

See you soon,

Jonathan, Sarah, Irina, Sandra, Tessa, Morgan, Dylan and Michelle.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Marlene Schellenberg

    I used to sing with children the folk song “Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow.” Raffi recorded it on his Baby Beluga album, but changed the words to “Oats and Beans and Barley Grow”.

    Thank you, Jonathan, for explaining this song in specific nutrient terms. Do you charge extra for the science lessons? You should!

    1. jstevens

      Haha, I don’t know that one!

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