6/27/16- This weekend we visited our Amish friends in PA and were able to get some of the fresh vegetables they are offering as they are a little ahead of our season. Most of these vegetables will only be available to our FMS customers and we have limited quantities. The heat and dry weather is not beneficial to the lettuce, mustard greens, and cilantro and found upon our return most of these went to seed. The good news is Asparagus grows rapidly in this heat! We are irrigating in the high tunnel and most of the garden but it would be nice if Mother Nature would bring us some rain. A sneaky woodchuck decided to eat the celery down to the ground while we were gone. So change of plans...we won't have celery this year but will plan on planting another crop in it's place.
7/4/16- Happy Independence Day! We were blessed with much needed rain this past week. The cucumbers and squash will be ready soon. We are battling flea beetles, cucumber beetles, and leaf miners so far this year but are managing. We hope everyone has a happy & safe 4th of July!
7/10/16- It has been so dry this year and the growing season seems to be behind a couple weeks this season. We were so blessed to have a couple rain showers this week which were very much needed. Summer squash is starting to come in and cucumbers not too far behind. There are tiny beans on the bean plants and beets are looking good! Will probably thin the beets this week which means beet greens will be available, so delicious in a salad! The major pest this year so far is the cucumber beetle, which is everywhere, and the flea beetle! Flea beetles like to make little holes in most greens like arugula, radish greens, kale, cabbage, etc. At Percy Thomson Meadows we practice organic which means...we don't spray harmful chemicals, pesticides, etc...so you may see these little holes on your vegetables. Have no fear! the holes won't hurt you, it's the chemicals that WE DON'T USE that will. Hope everyone has a great week!
7/17/16- Another dry week! We picked 400ft of beans this weekend and only yielded 14lb for the first picking which is very low. We are continuing to irrigate most crops 2-3 times per day. We found out from the seed company that the 75ft of snap peas that we planted were classified as a crop failure which means there is a reduction in crop yield to a level that there is no marketable surplus or the nutritional needs of the community cannot be met. We refuse to give up and have planted more snap peas in hopes to provide these for our customers. Beans are starting to come in and there are some green tomatoes on the plants. More seeds have been started so that we can replace the older plants with new vigorus ones! Hope everyone has a great week and let's hope for some rain!
7/31/16- Everything seems to be at least 2 weeks behind because of the lack of rain and a cold May. We have tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers in both our high tunnel greenhouse and in the outdoor garden, all these crops are being irrigated but everything is so behind. Last year we had a 75 foot row of cucumbers and were picking bushels everyday...this year we have a 75 foot row outside and a 72 foot row in the high tunnel and lucky if we get a couple pounds of cucumbers. We have noticed a huge lack of bees this year which is not good at all! Many crops rely on bees for pollination to produce the fruit of the crop. We are praying that mother nature is good to us and helps us produce a good fall crop to make up for it all, let's keep our fingers crossed!
8/8/16- Well we have summer squash coming out of our ears but still waiting to pick a ripe tomato! There are lots of tomatoes on the vine but for some reason they just don't want to turn red! Seedlings of our second go of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, kale, and swiss chard are ready to go in the ground. Please keep the prayers up for rain as we are still so far behind from the lack of water. Did another planting of cucumbers and summer squash in hopes of making pickles and relishes this fall...we wil see what happens! Hope every has a great week!
8/15/16- The lack of rain is really hurting growers this year. Tomatoes are just starting to ripen, can't believe it as it is mid August! First time in years we have had winter squash ready and not tomatoes! Flea beetles are still a problem but other than them and squash & cucumber beetles it hasn't been too bad. Eggplant and peppers are coming in strong now. Let's pray for some rain some time soon!
8/21/16- Yesterday was the first time in years that we had to haul water to our grazing cows. They are grazing over on Woodcreek Road and because of the lack of rain the stream has dried up and the pastures are not growing back. They are rotated on approximately 19 acres and with the lack of rain we have had to supplement with feeding hay this summer.
8/28/16- Well the lack of water is still an issue, streams and brooks are dried up over on Woodcreek Road where the cows are so we are still hauling water over to them. We have a second crop of cucumbers that we are hoping will make it, however we were just notified by UConn that downey mildew is spreading throughout Connecticut. The downey mildew will greatly affect the health of our cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. Tomatoes in the garden are producing however there seems to be a fungus problem, my opinion it's septoria leaf spot that is the problem. Second round of cabbages has been planted, let's pray this round makes it unlike the first. The lack of rain has been our biggest issue this year. Again any prayers for rain are greatly appreciated! Have a great week!
9/19/16- Well we have been a little lackadaisical about posting as this has truly been a trying year! All farms are reporting that production is down due to lack of water even though irrigating, I guess we are fortunate to be yielding what we are. Thisi is the first time I ever remember having to haul water to the cows on pasture. Although all of our animals have feed and water at all times, I'm sure they are feeling the effects of the lack of rain. We are just thinking about bringing all the animals closer to the farm to get ready for winter which is just around the corner. Farmstead festival is just 2 weeks away...hope everyone can make it!
9/26/16- This year has been one of the dryest years we remember, nothing is where it should be...vegetable production is way down, I spoke to someone today that said the last time the drought was this bad was 1964. I guess we are lucky to have gotten what we did. Let's keep our fingers crossed for a better year next year!