3rd Harvest Week: Tue, Wed & Thurs Delivery for June 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2012
Farmer John Writes . . .
Greetings from Angelic Organics
Weather & Water
We continue without rain, which has little bearing on our irrigated crops; however our cover crops, which we seed for fertility, are parched. It’s quite an expense to irrigate the cover crops (half of the total land we farm is in cover crops), but it’s an even bigger expense to have them wilt and not have them contributing to the soil health of future years. Starting soon, we’ll be irrigating around the clock. That’s a 30 hp electric motor 160 ft down the well making our electric meter whir.
Without our irrigation system, your boxes would be maybe half full this year.
Hardly a thing has gone wrong this season. We got everything seeded on time or a bit early. The heat made the crops almost jump out of the ground. The dry weather along with our stellar crew have almost eliminated weed pressure. The dry air seems to be deterring foliar diseases. Come to our open house on July 14 and see for yourself.
Weeds are not our Friends
In this age of inclusiveness, someone on our farm will occasionally make a case that we should give weeds a chance to flourish along with the crops. That’s not our policy here. Weeds take nutrients and water from your vegetables. When the weeds get big enough, they can reduce the amount of sunshine that gets to the crops. They can also slow down the harvests. We have maybe a dozen machines designed for weed eradication, and lots of field hoes. We select cover crops that will suffocate weeds when the ground is fallow. We shallow till many of our growing beds 3 to 4 times, to germinate weeds and then destroy them, before seeding crops into them.
Some crops such as carrots, spinach and radishes are particularly vulnerable to weed pressure. Because we know which crops will be planted in which fields the following year, the fields which will contain these vulnerable crops will be weeded especially thoroughly the year before. Our policy for this year in those fields where we know we will be seeding weed-vulnerable crops the following year: no weeds go to seed, or this is a weed-free zone.
A fellow vegetable grower once told me, “you have to get the weeds before you see them. If you can see them, it’s already too late.”
Over the past year, Primo (our machinery and facilities manager for the last 22 years) has designed two new weeding machines. The one has proven completely brilliant. The other one is still in development, but has tremendous promise. (Sorry, no photos available until the patents are filed and approved.)
If we didn’t control the weeds in the fields, your boxes might be only 3/4 full.
Overheard in San Francisco
I have no ideas. I wake up in the morning with no ideas, and all through the day, I still have no ideas. Other people have ideas, not me.
Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.
Brassicas – 1 bulb of kohlrabi, cauliflower
Fruiting Crops – maybe a zucchini
Cooking Greens –Pac Choi & bagged Kale
Alliums – Scallions
Salad Greens – 1 or 2 heads of lettuce, a bag of arugula
Root Crops – 2 bunches of beets
Herbs – basil & thyme