It’s not quite summer yet

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June 19, 2009 at 12:02 am

Vera Videnovich

There are no guarantees in farming. I can watch all the signs of nature or read all the Farmer’s Almanacs I want, I still don’t know what I’m in for when I get up in the morning. 

Lately I’ve been in a lot of rain. Tuesday afternoon’s slow and steady rain fell while I was trying to harvest veggies for my 25 weekly CSA boxes. It fell so heavily that I found out that my raincoat was more water resistant than waterproof. I also found about an inch of water in my muck boots. But the cool, wet weather did provide my CSA subscribers with some fresh looking radishes and mustard greens that might’ve looked a bit wilty if we were in the season-appropriate upper 70s and sunshine.

Flooded summer squash, tomatoes, and eggplants.

Flooded summer squash, tomatoes, and eggplants.

The good news is that the plants are still alive. The rains have been steady instead of deluges, which means they’ve been draining in time for the next rainfall. The summer squash has doubled in size in a week instead of just sitting there like it has been for the last month. It would be nice to have some to sell at market soon, I’m wondering how much longer the Logan Square Farmers’ Market customers will be buying the radishes and green garlic that fill my stand before they get bored. 

One example of my frustration with the slow growing veggies this year are the okra plants. Here’s how slowly they grew in about a month’s time.

 

Okra 5/25/2009

Okra 5/25/2009

 

Okra 6/17/2009

Okra 6/17/2009

The current weather forecasts predict some hot and humid days. Alas, with more rain, but the warmer temps will be a great boost for the veggies in the garden. The weeds, too, will be taking off and I’m hoping to find time between delivering 25 CSA (“Community Supported Agriculture”) boxes and two weekly markets to get some weeding done. I’m still trying to plant a few extra seeds and some of the eggplants and tomatoes waiting in the greenhouse. Yes, you can plant late in the season. My (ever evolving) garden schedule includes beet seed plantings through the end of July. We’ve also noticed that some of the peppers my brother was planting grew faster the later they were set out. A lot has to do with the cold Michigan nights of the past month, where folks are still turning on their furnaces at night to stay warm. And most of my sheep are waiting for their spring shearing without fear of catching pneumonia (and for some repairs to the hand clippers).

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