Given all the bad news we’ve been hearing in local media, I thought a brief review of the state of our fields was in order.
Overall, despite the weather, things are going rather well (or at least, better than might otherwise be expected). There are nevertheless a few imperilled crops, allow me to share the list with you. The first to drop in battle is the fragile cucumber, felled by mildew. It had gotten off to a good start, but the 4th and 5th plantings of the season are already turning brown, and I don’t see any chance of them being rescued.
The lower leaves of our field tomatoes are also starting to turn yellow; in just a few weeks, the entire plant will be affected.
Fortunately, their demise will not signal the end of the world, as I have four high tunnels filled with tomatoes (field tomatoes, but under cover – i.e., protected from the elements). I am confident that we will have lots of tomatoes…eventually. For the time being, the weather is definitely not of a tomato-ripening kind : indeed, the dearth of sunshine has prevented us from putting more tomatoes in your baskets so far. Please hang tight, though, they’re coming.
Two other vegetables that have caused us grief are our broccoli and our cauliflower.
We have had to mow them down, fungal plant rot having gotten the better of them. For starters, these vegetables don’t fare well in overly humid conditions; but adding insult to injury, the netting we use to protect them from fly-beetles ended up contributing greatly to the spread of the fungus. Our conservation onions are also starting to yellow, and several varieties are already lying flat in the fields. It is unlikely that they will hold until the end of August, which is when we usually harvest them; instead, we’ll probably be harvesting them early, within a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, our carrots and beets are doing swimmingly (no pun intended), although their leaves are in a sorry state, so we will likely leave them behind when we harvest them.
There is one other family of vegetables that could still suffer as a result of the current meteorological conditions, namely, our winter squash.
Fortunately – for the time being at least – they seem to be doing just fine. However, if nothing changes, they too will inevitably see their leaves yellow and their fruits may end up being just a bit smaller than usual. We entreat you all to send your positive thoughts skywards, channelling an abundance of sunshine for the rest of the month of August. We’re most certainly NOT off to a good start, though, as the latest forecast is calling for rain for the rest of the week…sigh.
While the picture I paint is mostly in hues of gray, keep in mind that
many of our vegetables are enjoying the excess water
– our leafy greens, in particular, as well as our corn, whose cobs are starting to show considerable heft. Those of you who have been with us for a while now will remember the epic battles between yours truly and the local raccoon posse…Nothing has changed, it is an ongoing and daily challenge that includes making sure that the electric fencing surrounding the corn is working well, and that there are no gaps in the current or the fence itself – should there be any, they will be quickly exploited by our wily enemy.
In your basket this week,
you will most certainly find summer squash, as well as eggplant galore. For reasons I am at a loss to explain, our eggplants just keep on giving, so we have no choice but to keep on sharing them with you. While eggplant is a poor substitute for cucumber, a garlicky baba ganoush is delicious in its own right. Barring any last-minute changes, you can also expect some corn, tomatoes, a leafy green, fine herbs, green pepper or carrots, fresh onions, and – hopefully – some watermelon, too.
See you soon.