Some much-needed rain and a cold front blew here on Tuesday night, much to everyone’s relief. The heat was brutal to work in, and many plants don’t much like that kind of heat intensity, especially the strawberries. The ripening fruit will actually heat up and sunburn, thus injuring the berries and making them rot. Our first defense is to turn on the overhead irrigation and evaporatively cool the fruit down. So we were doing that a lot between Saturday afternoon and Tuesday.
Transplanting continues as the second planting of crops like peppers and cherry tomatoes, melons etc. is about to begin. There is a fair amount of field prep that must be done for this: soil moisture levels must be up and the soil must also be weed free before we lay down mulch and transplants. And there is a lot of weeding to be done as these showers and irrigations are just as beneficial to the weeds as they are to the veggies. Plus we are on the cusp of strawberry season and there is a lot of preparation for that as well.
We started picking a few quarts of berries last Saturday off our strawberries grown on black plastic. We have been selling the few of them at the greenhouses, but we will officially open the Route 12A farm stand on Saturday, as sort of a prelude to strawberry season. Those of you who are in the Grantham CSA will receive your first box on Tuesday, June 17. Ray and Kalila will be down there by 5 PM and remain until 7 PM, as many of you requested the later hours for pickup. The box won’t be overflowing with stuff this trip as there are not a lot of field vegetables ready yet, due to the lousy early growing season, but we thought you might like some early season strawberries and lettuce to get going. Like the farmstand, we all need the practice to make the system work seamlessly, and you will get a chance to meet a couple of the principals involved and have a chat with them. See you then.