Thursday, July 24, 2008

What's New At The Farm? 7/23/08

We got rain; two and a half inches but a little too fast for my taste. There was some erosion around the farm but it was minimal at best. Having cover crops in place and the fact that it was so dry helped the rain to soak in. I also held off grinding some crops we are done with until we can grind and reseed the same day.

The fence is progressing well. They finished putting the posts in last week and will start putting wire up this week. They should be all done by the end of next week. Just in time as the deer are starting to eat the pumpkins. A couple of weeks ago we had to put floating row covers on the green bean trial or we wouldn’t have anything to evaluate. Beans and peas are on the list as deer’s favorite foods.

The farm looks really good this year; the weeds are under control, insects are kept in check and crop maintenance is on schedule. The tomatoes are worth the trip out here just to see them. All of field 11 (the field behind the pond) is in breeding tomatoes this year; the trial is in field 10. The squash and pumpkin fields look good with the mulch all laid out and few weeds visible. The corn is growing by leaps and bounds and everything else looks good as well.

We sprayed galinsoga at the ends of several fields last week with Matratec AG on Thursday last week. Matratec is an organic herbicide with the active ingredient being clove oil. It is an OMRI approved herbicide that kills on contact usually within 24 hours. We sprayed one of those brutally hot days and damage was visible with a couple of hours. It’s hard to hoe or otherwise eradicate the weeds at the ends of the rows as there are water pipes, valves and drip hoses from the irrigation lines there. Spraying is quicker and more efficient on a hot day than hoeing. The best weather to use an organic herbicide is on a hot day; the weeds really take a beating then.

On the home front we’ve frozen peas, Swiss chard and beets greens. We spent the bulk of last weekend picking, shelling, cleaning and blanching them. This week we’ll put up green beans and more beet greens. They’ll sure be good in the middle of the winter! We planted Big Top beets this year and they really do have big tops; nice big and tall tops that are easy to clean and easier to grow. We’ll definitely put these in the garden next year.

Until next week, Brian.

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