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Posts Tagged ‘weeds’

Thanks to John Myers and Bob King of the Duluth News Tribune for the nice article about CSA in today’s paper!

Click here for information about purchasing a summer CSA share.

Check out the photos below for a look around the farm. The winter rye is going to town in the hoophouses and starting to green up in the field. The only problem is, the chickweed and other spring weeds love the warm weather, too!

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The deer have been eating some of our cucumbers, which didn’t concern me too terribly much since the cukes are pretty prolific, but now they’re eating our punkins! I’ll probably have to make some fence tomorrow to SOS — Save Our Squash. I thought I would be able to get away with having the cucurbits unfenced this year, since my across-the-road neighbors do, but then again their fields aren’t right next to dense woods, either.

Elden has been faithfully chipping away at our building projects on weekends and has the front of the quonset building almost done, by my estimation anyway. It seems like he’ll for sure be able to get the thing buttoned up for winter, and perhaps a little work done on the inside, too. I am not much help, unfortunately, as I’m all thumbs with any kind of power tool and pretty busy in the field, anyway.

My friend Jacob stopped by the other day and saw this 2-pound tomato sitting on the counter and said, “What’s THIS?” As I explained, it was my prize tomato out of the greenhouse, a Big Beef I believe. I brought it home for a few days to admire, then eventually gifted it to my neighbors Randy and Kathy Wolf, who supplied our compost this year. It seemed appropriate.

The Sun Jewel melons that did so well last year might surprise me and produce something edible this year. I was sure they wouldn’t make it to maturity last year, but they did, so I’m not counting them out entirely even though the fruit is still tiny right now.

Finally, the “horsetail” weeds that are so prolific at Stone’s Throw Farm are maddening, but I have to admit they’re pretty covered with morning dew.

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It’s crunch time at the farm. Tasks done or not done right now will have reverberations throughout the rest of the season. Waiting too long to prep the fields could mean many crops are delayed, but working the ground before it dries out properly leads to soil compaction and can mess up the soil tilth, or texture. Seeding and transplanting is a priority, but skipping proper field preparation could make weed control later difficult or impossible. For some slow-growing crops, a seeding delay of a day or two can mean a week or more delay in maturity several months from now. Everything needs to be done right now, and the weather has not been cooperating very well.

I actually took the time to take a few photos at the farm yesterday with plans to share them here, but I forgot to bring my camera home. You’ll just have to trust me that things are hopping at Stone’s Throw Farm, including the spring peepers.

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Sunnyside Up

A few nights a few weeks ago got down into the upper 40’s for temperature, which really made me appreciate the warm days we’ve had since — even the hot days, if you can call 85 hot (I know it’s not really). The days are very clearly getting shorter, and instead of dreading the 5 pm sunsets that are our inevitable future, I’m trying to revel in the post-5 pm sunshine while I can.

I’m not the only one noting the seasonal change. Shorter days mean all the weeds are setting seed now, even the inch-tall pigweed that doesn’t flower until it’s a foot tall in the middle of summer. The farm has been flooded with Common Green Darner dragonflies, which apparently are migrating south. They fly into the greenhouse and can’t find their way out, so I’ve been helping some of them. Don’t worry — it doesn’t hurt them to hold them by the wings like this.

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The best part of hoeing

My dear devoted readers of this blog (Mom being #1) might remember a photo of the miniature broccoli forest I posted a month ago. Those little seedlings are coming along quite nicely. 

Of course I try not to damage the plants when I hoe around them, but once in a while a person can’t help but hit one of the lower leaves with the hoe. The plant can survive without a leaf or two, so it’s not a huge deal. When it happens, there’s nothing to do but eat it. Literally. I was forced to sample the collards, kale, and broccoli due to my hoeing errors the other day, and that first taste of broccoli leaf was pretty amazing. I think it might have had something to do with my subsequent errors, as I definitely wanted more snacks!

The collards are at the end of the bed, so they were the first to greet me. The size of the collard plants was very encouraging, as I am constantly thinking about what veggies might be ready for our first share delivery, scheduled for June 21. I’m not worried at all about the rest of the season:  I transplanted the second round of broccoli yesterday, the third round is growing in pots in the hoophouse, and the fourth round might get seeded this weekend.

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The early beds of veggies look good in the field, except for one thing:  grass weeds. Grass that spreads at the root level is so difficult to kill, and there is quite a bit of it popping up in beds that looked clean when I planted into them. I knew this would happen, but still, I was feeling a bit down about it yesterday.

Then I remembered my dad telling me that field prep is going to be so much easier next year. I thought about how the entire field was sod last year at this time and that the soil hadn’t been turned over for at least 20 years. Given that, the amount of grass I’ve managed to transform into organic matter in the soil in a matter of months is pretty amazing. The fact that some of it has survived is just a testament to the hardiness of the plant and the brilliance of Mother Nature.

So, I looked at how much the peas have shot up in the last week, I did a little hoeing, and I felt a little better.

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