Heat wave and the life of a farmer

It’s time for me to give an update from the farm.  It’s times like these that I look longingly back to last year with all that rain.  We haven’t had any measurable amount of rain since June 12th except a tenth of an inch on the 18th but that doesn’t really count.  There is nothing in the forecast until maybe July 4th or July 8th but those long range forecasts don’t seem all that accurate.  The farm is very dry and we could really use a nice gentle rain.  I know the plants would appreciate it, as would I.  I can honestly say that I am now praying for rain daily.  I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to actually see and smell the rain falling to the north and to the south of the farm but for it not to have the decency to come and bless Allison Hill.  And Friday was just a tease with sprinkles but no rain to speak of.

I don’t know if you have noticed but we have a little heat wave going on and I hope that we get some relief with cooler weather and some rain soon.  The plants are still looking pretty good but they are showing some signs of stress from all the heat and the lack of rain.  Heck…I am showing some signs of stress from the recent weather.  It has been 90 degrees or higher the last 3 days and the forecast for the next 7 days is 90 or above.  All we can do is keep rotating the irrigation to the different parts of the field.  I think we will lose some produce, but I imagine that it shouldn’t be too bad.

I should tell you what is going on in the field.  The Elmerton field is looking good, all things considered.  The groundhogs haven’t caused any damage (knock on wood).  The one problems is that an unknown animal is eating off the tiny winter squash plants.  I have reseeded them but I don’t know how successful that will be in this weather.  The summer squash at the main field is doing really well.  The tomatoes in the high tunnel and field are so very close and just starting to turn red.  The cucumbers are doing really well, as you probably saw last week.

This year, I am experimenting with something new: growing potatoes vertically. I have recently learned that potatoes only produce new potatoes from the planted seed potato up to the surface.  Right now, we have some potatoes growing in wire towers and we keep adding leaves and compost to make the mounds higher. They are about 3 feet high, and I am hoping that we will have about 3 feet of potatoes at harvest time.

Oh, the life of a farmer.

Joshua

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