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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Week 14 July 11-14


I missed a week and a half at the farm in order to go on vacation in the UK. Lane and I went to England and Scotland. 

We saw Stonehenge,

And some castles,

Drank some scotch,

and learned how it was made. 

There were a few sheep. 

Well, lots of sheep.

We camped on the Isle of Skye next to a loch
and saw these cool flowers on a hike. 

And these at a castle.  
This Highland Pony was Ah-Mazing.

And there were more ruins.

When I got back to the farm it looked completely different. When I left for vacation it was over 100 degrees and had been dry for weeks. While I was away the temperature came back down to reasonable highs in the 80s and low 90 and there had been quite a bit of rainfall. Many of the crops that were booming are finished as the Spring/Summer season winds down. Our first main tomato planting is succumbing to blight. It's not surprising with the stress of extreme heat and all the rain. They are however still producing over 500 pounds of tomatoes a week which is a challenging amount of produce to market and sell. The Sweet Corn is also through which is a sad one, it was SO delicious, I will miss it. 



Okra is in full swing right now. The plants have grown to 5' high and 3' around. Harvesting Okra is like pushing your way through a dense jungle at this point. You have to wear long sleeves and gloves because the leaves are prickly and irritate your skin. 
Okra Jungle
The peppers are also coming into their own. We harvested Jalapenos, Anaheim, Poblano, Shishito, Peperoncini, and Red Bell Peppers. The pepper varieties that we chose for heat are coming up sweet. This may be because they have had it too easy. Supposedly if these same plants got more stress (i.e. less water) they would turn hot. 

Poblano Peppers
Anaheim Peppers

Red and Green
Other bounty from the week: Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Arava Melons, Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula, Zinnia, Basil, Eggplant, Sunflowers, Celosia, Squash, and the last of the Sweet Corn. 
Celosia, my new favorite flower

Production and Distribution

This was week 12 of the CSA. There are only 2 weeks left in the Spring CSA, then we get a few weeks to regenerate before the Fall CSA starts up.
CSA Week 12

In the CSA Box: 

-Zinnia and Basil Bouquet
-Cherry Tomatoes
-Squash or Cucumber
-Sweet Corn


I got to go to Market this week. We brought over 500 lbs of tomatoes and sold over 300 during the market. They Cory and I each took some to sell to restaurants after. We have so many now that Cory is using a distributor because it's too difficult to directly market SO much produce. They are called The Turnip Truck  and distribute local produce and specialty food in Atlanta. 

Market Board (actually from last week)
Peachtree Road Farmer's Market


We cleared a lot of Hoop House beds this week in order to start planting for the fall season. We need to be prepping fields as well but all the rain has made it impossible to work in these fields with the tractor. It's feast or famine on the farm and right now there is no lack of water. 

Finished compost sprouting last year's squash
We have 2 large compost piles near the pond behind the barn. One is finished compost and the other we are still building. We used the finished compost to amend the soil in the Hoop House beds we are turning over. 


Not all of the tomatoes we are harvesting are making it to consumers. Because there are SO many tomatoes and only 5 of us some of them inevitably end up in the compost and will come back in a 2nd incarnation as nutrients for future crops. 


We have started planting for the fall. This week we planted Carrots, Arugula, Beets, and Turnips in the Hoop Houses. We also potted up some tiny Strawberry plants from our now defunct Strawberry field. 
More tomatoes for the fall were transplanted into Hoop Houses as well. 

Farm Life
I only worked Wednesday-Saturday this week. However, it was a bit of shock to the system after 10 days off in 60 degree weather, jet lag and time changes. I'm pretty beat but feeling better about the week coming up.

A nice perk this week was that Cory arranged for a local Yoga instructor to visit us on the farm and teach a class in exchange for a CSA box. We spent a little over an hour doing Yoga that was mostly focused on opening up our shoulders and flexing our spines to counter all of the bending over we do. I was so grateful for this reprieve and hope that we get to do it every week.

Cow Ant or Mutilidae

We are seeing a lot of these "Cow Ants" right now. They are actually a female, wingless wasp. Their bite is supposed to be extremely painful and it is said that it can kill a cow (this is not actually true). I'm hoping not to report here exactly how painful it is. Interesting fact: The male is often a lot larger than the female. In a few species he is so much larger that he carries her aloft while mating. That's pretty romantic if you ask me.

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