News, 7-21-10

The good growing season continues.  Every time I start to get nervous about the desiccating heat and our lack of an irrigation system, it rains again.  Happy plants bulge with fruit, the barn is brimming with onions and garlic, and the foods of Fall are already in the works.  Although the heat started early and continues to bear down, there is sweet mercy in the cooling, gentle rains.  Let’s hope it keeps coming!

Courtney has finished her teacher-certification classes and this week is honing her skills st a foreign language camp.  She has bravely pushed through the disorientation and exhaustion of the last six weeks and is now enjoying interacting with kids.  Because the camp only lasts the morning, she is able to come home every day, which is mighty nice.  The first day of school at Henry County High School is August 11.

It is easy to see now there is a baby growing in her belly.  Besides the bulge, we’ve got pictures and a vigorous little heartbeat to prove it.  Trying to fathom the new reality of husbandry to come.  Excited and bewildered.  Full of love.

Crop Update

Tomatoes!  Purple, orange, and red cherries, peach and paste tomatoes, big red slicers and juicy, ugly heirlooms, pink, yellow, orange, green, white, and striped tomatoes, tomatillos.  For many the greatest gustatory pleasure, the most epic epicurean adventure of Summer, tomatoes are in all their glory right now.  They’ve thrived this season, and, despite the fact that some critter is eating holes in all the largest, most beautiful specimens, they should be in abundance for a while.  Let us know if you’d like a box for canning.

Sweet Onions are all harvested and curing.  Red and Storage Onions are gradually being pulled from the field and into the barn.  This is the best onion crop we’ve had on this farm.  Ought to be plenty to last to the end of the year.

Peppers are finally really producing.  The intense hot weather killed off the first round of flowers, but the plants are looking good and getting heavy with fruit.  Eggplant will soon enter the shares.

Okra is booming.  This is an okra kind of Summer.  If you’re a big fan, don’t be shy taking your share; a number of people do not want theirs.  If we grew only okra we would pick it every day—maybe twice a day—and no pod would ever be longer than 3 inches.  We pick twice a week, and 3 or 4 days is plenty of time for a zucchini or an okra pod to go wild.

First planting of Summer Squash and Cucumbers is winding down.  Another is on the way.

Watermelons and cantaloupes are close.  Last year groundhogs wreaked havoc, this year we’ll see.

Beans have suffered from the heat.  Blossoms drop off and the plants wait for a cooler time.  Planting 3 is not far off, and #4 is coming along behind that, so we still have plenty of opportunity.

Sweet corn has not fared well either.  We usually have three crops, but this year we will have one.  Planting one failed to germinate, number two looks good, and planting time for number three slipped by.  While the deer are fenced out, the raccoons are no doubt keeping a closer eye on it than I am.  I’ll put up an electric fence inside the deer fence to protect the corn.  Then, of course, there are birds, worms, winds…corn is always quite a racket.

It won’t be long until we’re talking Fall crops!

Thanks again for the many and various ways of help.  Summer is always super intense.  To go from two people full-time to one person in the height of the season has been a little insane.  But your company, your helping hands, your encouraging words, your unwavering support has kept me going and from going completely nuts. 

May the bountiful produce, the purposeful process and the sacred provenance be nourishing to you and yours, body, mind and spirit.

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