This journal entry is for Trace!!!! Yes, finally I am taking the time to write in our journal and let me tell you why… Because here in the mountains we are having cooler weather, with finally the nighttime temperatures dropping, making for some fabulous sleeping. This helps motivate me in completing my nightly chores such as journal entries and freezing pesto for our winter stash. Otherwise our trailer is just too hot to deal with being indoors and I find myself sitting outside. (The past few nights we have seen low temperatures around 62 and highs between 85 and 90)
This past Tuesday our neighbor Joe brought over his coon dog because the raccoons wiped out about 50 percent of our sweet corn crop. The coons also ate all the peaches from the peach tree. His dogs didn’t pick up any scent so he will try again Friday or Saturday night. We are hopeful to soon be eating stewed racoons!
The first week of August we transplanted our first succession of fall crops to the field. The plants didn’t look so good because they were being devoured by the cabbage looper so we are praying they survive. Crops transplanted include kale, boc choi, cabbage and lettuce.
After transplanting we covered with floating row cover to keep the flea beetles and harlequin bugs off the crops until they have an established root system. Danielle, Townes, Tony and Justin hauled literally tons of rocks and rolled out a lot of row cover to protect these plants. I got out of the hard work, mostly because I was busy spraying the crops to kill the cabbage loopers, and feel bad that they had to do it all!!! Carl was busy helping our neighbor put up hay. It is strange having the crops covered because you can’t just look at them to see how they are doing. Crops underneath row cover are ignored until over a week after they have been transplanted, then they are uncovered and hoed, then recovered for a couple more weeks. Whereas, crops without row cover can be examined every couple days, and if we visually notice pests or disease, we can be very proactive about dealing with issues as they arise. So who knows what is going on underneath that row cover right now. Hopefullly not an “All You Can Eat Buffet” for the cabbage loopers.
If Mark Bittman were President, I would probably making a living at growing food, he would probably subsidize my farm a bit; however, I don’t think our country has the money for subsidies!
PRODUCTION NOTE TO SELF: For the past several years I have been meaning to plant another succession of swiss chard that we would have for sale in the summer. Our existing crop has petered out in growth and flavor. We need to seed it around 5/15. I must say the bugs like the flavor of swiss chard right now. In addition, we need a back-up crop should we loose our corn. We have had “trellis field peppers” on our task list for several years but never have gotten around to that. NEXT YEAR is a farmers’ famous saying. Our tomatoes are not producing which is a first for us. We are going to try a more leaf mold resistant variety next year and also a later crop. Need to seed the tomato 4/11 for harvest around August.