07 Jul Things are heating up!
Excessive heat warning in effect is not something to underestimate. Our tractor operator Tom Thorpe, a 10 year veteran of the marines, gave a presentation to our crew on how to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and how to prevent them. The take away- start thinking about the work week ahead over the weekend- hydrating and getting enough rest.
At this point our bodies have become somewhat adjusted to the heat, as have the vegetable crops. But they require lots of hydration, just as we do. Our irrigation manager Jeff (pictured to the right), is kept busy zipping around the farm on the orange 4-wheeler, managing the water needs across the entire farm. Monday night’s rain was cause for celebration, but we were right back to watering the next day. Tom was able to direct sow carrots, beets and green beans just before the rain arrived.
The tidal wave of red field tomatoes is probably about 10 days away. Hopefully we will have enough volume of heirloom tomatoes from our greenhouses to start distributing them to the CSA next week. Don’t worry- they’re coming! Also sizing up beautifully are the watermelons (first up- a delicious yellow variety) and cantaloupes- we’ll be enjoying them in just a few weeks.
Looking ahead to fall, the sweet potatoes are vining out and slurping up as much water as we can spare them. The spaghetti squash will be here before we know it. We are busy prepping ground and preparing to plant fall crops like Brussel sprouts, kale and cabbage. As farmers we must always look ahead a few months- there’s no playing catch up- it won’t grow if we don’t plant it. Erick keeps busy in the propagation greenhouse sowing seeds and potting up plants when necessary.
We will see a gap in the cucumber harvest. This first planting we have all been enjoying went through that late frost we experienced back in mid-May, and never fully recovered. It’s weakened plants were more vulnerable to bug damage- that’s the scarring you see on the skin. The next planting coming up looks way healthier and productive. Another casualty of the late frost seems to be the potatoes. Overall we are getting lower yields per plant compared to previous years.
The pick-your-own flowers are a sight to behold. There is no excuse not to fill your house with flowers for the next few weeks.
My favorite variety, nigella (first photo above), is thick right now with wiry blue and purple blooms. It is only in bloom for a short time, but then the seed pods are just as lovely. As I was harvesting them to make market bouquets the flowers were alive with the sound of hundreds of honey bees, all with pollen balls tucked under their wings. I hope you enjoy the flowers as much as I do- it is a labor of love to grow such an extensive variety of blooms. Enjoy them while they are at their peak.
In this week’s share is agretti- most likely a new crop for many of you. It is an Italian green, also known as seawort or monk’s beard. You can eat it raw- it has a tangy flavor, or you can sauté it with lemon and garlic and toss with pasta or put with fish. Think Mediterranean!
Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.