So…. What Have You Been Doing This Summer?
Have you found a way to remain cool and hydrated? That has been our challenge this summer so far. Our heavy clay soil has worked in our favor by holding on to any minuscule drop of water that falls and keeping the root zone somewhat less parched. The boxes that we plant in have been very difficult to keep moist and the hoop house, which gets no rain at all, has had a very high evaporation rate. We have been watering every day….for hours….every day….just watering, nothing else….for hours….every day. It’s good to live beside a large lake, because rain water collection isn’t effective when there is no rain. I am very thankful for the hay and straw donated, because those beds without mulch were….well….dry. (Did I mention that we have been watering daily??) How wonderful was that rain we got on Sunday, the first real rain for weeks.
The beautiful thing is that we have succeeded so far in keeping most of the plants alive, growing, and producing. Not the greens, but sweet and lovely beets, prolific eggplant, gorgeous peppers and tomatoes. Cucumbers died – all of ’em – pole beans struggled, but finally overcame, bush beans didn’t do very well, but the chard has kept plugging away.
In addition to watering (did I mention that we had been watering every day?) we have been doing other things this season. We had a great garlic harvest! Titus stacked the harvested garlic so neatly and compactly on the trailer that, in the picture, it’s hard to figure out what you’re looking at at first. I’ve also had a good season with basil. I was a little unsure in the beginning because the earth out there in the field is not particularly fertile (not to mention dry), but after adding some worm castings from my hardworking worms and some bio-char, rich in nitrogen, donated by a friend, in addition to a bunch of water, the basil has grown quite well. If you shop at the Lexington Co-op and buy basil, it may be from our farm. We’ve canned beans, made pickles, canned tomatoes, dried parsley, peppers, sage, thyme and basil, frozen peas and okra (sorry, none for sale – it’s been a rough year for okra), and eaten quite well.
I’ve put a bunch of pictures together as a little testament of our season so far.
You’ll find something new on the site, thanks to our friend, Paul Harris. If you click on “Farm Needs” at the top of the page you will find links to a couple PDF files that delineate more specifically the needs of the farm. You’ll get a pretty good idea of our short and long term goals there. We are still working on filling in all the information, but eventually it should be a concise compilation of our needs for materials, money, labor, and ideas. Perhaps you would like to help us out in one way or another?
Oh, by the way, this Saturday (August 11) is a Second Saturday Volunteer Day! Come on out to the farm from 9:00 – 12:00 and lend a hand. Maybe we’ll let you water something! 😉