The past couple weeks have been spent harvesting winter squash. Many of the plants just up and died due to the high humidity and rain. Our squash probably died of powdery mildew. Although we haven’t had much rain, only a few sporadic showers totaling 1/200 of an inch which is enough to increase our humidity levels creating the perfect conditions for mildews to thrive. We work extremely hard right after our last frost around mid May in an effort to get our winter squash transplanted to the field so that it has time to grow and sweeten up before the various strains of mildews migrate to our area. In years past our squash has been extremely sweet; however, we had some at lunch the other day and it wasn’t nearly as sweet as in years past. We did eat one of those that we “CULLED” out so we must try one that is “PRIME” quality for the CSA and market customers. We are almost certain that those graded as “PRIME” will have a much better flavor. The farmer hates to eat “Prime” sellable produce which is why we have “culls”, but in the case of winter squash, we will be eating some “PRIME” quality because we deserve it after all this hard work!
We are starting to roast peppers. We normally roast for the entire month of September but the fruit set of our peppers is a little earlier but not nearly as high as in years past. OOOHHH the smell of roasting peppers at market!
We are brooding new laying chicks just for ourselves. Our existing flock of layers are only giving us about a dozen eggs per week so they will become broilers in a few months once our chicks begin laying. We have done eggs for production but here on our farm we have too many predators who eat our chickens. Bobcats, coyottees, possum, raccoon, etc. We are trying to train a new guard dog but he has taken to hanging out with us rather than the animals. Our plan is this winter to build him a dog house.
THIS IS COOL…. ‘Prescription Veggies’ to familes so that they are encouraged to buy fresh food at the farmers’ market.
PRODUCTION NOTE TO SELF: Plant extra melons. (We cut back our melon and winter squash planting because the size of our field was smaller than that used in last years rotation. Plant only red and yellow sweet bells out in the field. Plant 300 feet of Red Bells, 75 feet of yellow bells, 225 feet of Italians, 50 feet of Anaheim peppers, 50 feet of poblano peppers, 100 feet of krimzen peppers. Seed a later crop of swiss chard that can be transplanted the end of June because we are lacking leafy greens at market.