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Monday, July 15, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Week 17


The tomatoes are starting to come in. Here is a Kellogg's Breakfast, a gorgeous yellow/orange heirloom tomato originally bred in Michigan. They are averaging over a pound a piece. 

Green Leaf Lettuce, Deer Tongue and Romaine


More tomatoes, Green, Heirloom and Slicers

Suyo Long Cucumber

Production and Distribution

Washing and Packing Rainbow Chard
 A lot of the greens get bunched in the field, washed and packed into mesh laundry bags. These go into coolers in the cool room. At the restaurants I empty the bags into their containers. This eliminates a lot of plastic. I am also picking up used produce boxes at Costco for free which is nice since I am reusing them and they get recycled at the restaurants.

I have to drive into DC twice a week in Flora, the farm truck. She is a flex fuel vehicle and there is ONE Ethanol gas station in DC. It is in Georgetown and is the size of a postage stamp. I try to make it over there once a week to get some E85.

Fresh Food Delivery at The Heights with Chef Aldo et al.
Grillfish Delivery

Cultivation and Maintenance

The tomatoes need constant attention. I added more rows of trellising this week. Many of the plants are taller than me now. We do have early blight which most people in Southern Maryland are seeing right now due to all of the rain we are getting. Early Blight is a soil borne fungal disease that is splashed onto the leaves by rain and is helped to spread by high humidity levels. We have had lots of both. Next year I plan to mulch with straw which should help keep this from happening. For now I have to go through and cut all of it out. The disease kills the leaves leaving the tomatoes unshaded and prone to sun scald. Here is some more info on Early Blight.

Before Pruning

After Pruning

Filtering Compost Tea

I also sprayed the tomatoes this week with a good dose of compost tea and a bit of fertilizer to give them a boost to help fight off the disease and also to give them what they need to fill out all of the lovely fruit they are setting. I've written about the compost tea before. Here is what I have to do after it is brewed in order to be able to spray it through the backpack sprayer. I strain it through and air filter. This gets out all the chunks that would otherwise clog up the sprayer.

Romaine lettuce, just weeded

Chewed up Tomato

 More tomato drama.... Someone is eating them. I found a few low hanging tomatoes that had claw marks and bites taken out of them. I went ahead and set a trap with a tomato inside. Check back next week to see if I caught anything....

Tomato eater trap

I also came across this little dude this week. Could he be eating my tomatoes? I think it is an Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapine C. Carolina)


It is a good thing I planted a ton of stuff last week because it rained too much this week to be able to work the soil. When I checked the rain gauge today it was up to 6". No planting this week but next week will be round 2 of fall planting.

Eating Well

Radicchio Salad, Cucumber Salad, Squash Casserole,
All home made, all from the farm. Lunch.

Sweet Pickles from Grillfish

Green Beans with a 6 minute egg and tarragon from Logan Tavern

Zucchini and Squash with fried Basil at Logan Tavern

Sesame Crusted Tilapia and Broccoli Raabe at Grillfish

Puddy Time

Puddy had a long hard week. I only got one picture of her at the farm as I was straining compost tea. The rest of the time she was entertaining our temporary dog Tilford, two toddlers and a 5 year old. It's exhauting being Puddy.
Tilford and Puddy. I'm not sure where the people are supposed to sleep...

Since this is the part of the blog where the cute stuff goes, here's Finnegan enjoying a fresh cucumber he helped pick on Saturday. He and his twin sister Nori devoured two cucumbers all on their own. You have no idea how happy that makes me. 

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