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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Week 17 July 30- August 3


In the harvest bins this week were Arugula, Okinawa Spinach, Melons (Sugar Baby Watermelon, Small and Large Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Arava, and Yellow Watermelon), Cucumbers, Okra (so much Okra), Peppers (Bell, Annaheim, Shishito, Poblano, Jalapeno, Peperoncino, and Habanero), Tobacco (for real), 2 varieties of Eggplant, a few Tomatoes, Lady Peas, Purple Hull Peas, Green Beans, Sunflowers, Zinnia, and Hakurei Turnips (welcome back delicious little friends!).

Arugula, Okinawa Spinach and Cute Rain Boots

Hakurei Turnips and Asian Cukes

Production and Distribution
We are between Spring and Fall CSA season so we delivered to our own Chef Andrew, Farms on Floyd and of course we had the Peachtree Road Farmer's Market on Saturday.

A few of the things we harvested this week required a few extra production steps. For one, we harvested the lower, larger leaves of the tobacco plants. In cigars these would be the wrapper leaves. We tied them to stakes and hung them under the overhang of the barn to dry. The tobacco is  one of Cory's "experiments." We don't really have a market for it since we can't actually sell it.


These peppers also needed to be hung to dry. We just pulled the whole plant up out of the ground and intended to hang them intact. However, they were much heavier than the tobacco leaves and needed more support. My theatrical rigging came in handy here. I set up some battens and pullies. These can be  used for the peppers today and left in place and used again any time in the future. I even got to use my knots. (Thanks Mr K)


We transplanted some young tomato plants from the field into a Hoop House last week and this. They are struggling to readjust so we tried to give them a boost with some foliar fertilizer (fertilizer that is sprayed directly onto the leaves). We gave them some seaweed and potassium. Potassium is necessary for healthy and abundant fruit and fruit ripening. Seaweed has lots of trace elements including magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, and nitrogen, all of which are beneficial to plants and easily absorbed through the leaves. Hopefully this will help these little guys adjust to their new home. 

We continue to remove spring crops and turn fields over for fall planting. This week we pulled out plastic mulch from Gus' and Pasture Field where our second melon planting and spring strawberries were. We found a new use for the potato digger here too. The plastic mulch in Pasture Field was covered in weeds and grass and was too laborious to dig out by hand (especially in the August heat). The potato digger's job is to dig under the soil and leave solids laying on top so why not try to use it on plastic mulch? Well, try we did and it worked. It did leave the plastic in torn pieces but they were still easier to pick up than dig up.

More solarizing! This time we covered a field with clear plastic to let the sun bake it for a few weeks, this should kill all the weed seeds and bug larvae making this fall planting easier to maintain. 

Daniel and I spent 4 hours on Tuesday pulling out all of the tomatoes from Hoop House 5. We tied 3 plants together using the trellising line and pilled them up in the truck.

We took about 6 truck loads to the burn pile. We can't compost these plants because they are too tough and they have disease. It's better just to burn them which Burge Plantation does during the burn season. Burning trash is illegal right now because of the heat and dry weather. 

Once the plants were all out we pulled up the T-Posts using this tool for leverage. Then the plastic mulch came out.

And now have an empty Hoop House.

What is fall without Pumpkins? Well, if you want organic pumpkins than you have to weed them. Weed we did, on our hands and knees..... for 4 hours..... in the heat..... and we didn't even finish.... :::sigh:::

So close! We almost planted the new blackberries this week. Over the course of a few days we transformed a section of Main House field, which had been in cover crop, into clean, composted, fertilized rows. We even laid one row of irrigation and landscaping fabric. These plants will stay in this field for years to come so we used a heavier gauge irrigation and the landscaping fabric is tougher and should last longer than plastic mulch. Hopefully we will get these young plants into the ground next week. 
Future Fall Harvests

The new plantings in the Greenhouse are coming along nicely. The benches now look like they are covered in thick green carpet. We are watering 2-3 times a day depending on how hot and sunny it is. 

Burge Kale coming up!
We also planted more beds of Arugula and Carrots in the Hoop houses. We covered them in cloth row cover and laid irrigation on top. This is to help keep them cool enough to germinate on these mid 90s August days. Once they start to come up we will remove the row cover.

Farm Life

Even though we are no longer harvesting 1,000lbs of tomatoes this week we still had plenty of seconds. I took home about 15lbs worth and spent Saturday making and canning marinara sauce. It was my first foray into solo canning and it was pretty cool. Next time I will make sure I have more tomatoes though. 15lbs made only 6 quarts of sauce. Still, that 6 quarts of organic, preservative free marinara that I can feel good about eating and don't have to buy at the grocery store. I used the recipe from Barbara Kingsolver's book 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle' and adjusted it to the amount of tomatoes I had. 
While I was at it I preserved the last of the figs from the tree in my back yard. Here's that recipe. 

Tomatoes peeled and seeded



Finished Product

Beautiful Wild
Harvestable Cover Crop of legumes and flowers. 

Puddy Time

1 comment:

  1. Yea for your technical theatre skills!!! Love ya!



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