The month of May was productive at the farm, and the transition from spring to summer plantings was executed quite nicely by our farm crew.
Our primary summer transplants are all in the ground and the corn, field peas and peanuts that we direct seeded are all up and off to the races.
We have already started to pick squash, zucchini and cucumbers and it won’t be long before we start harvesting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and okra. We planted a nice border of zinnias and marigolds around our summer plot to attract beneficial insects and so far the pest pressure is low.
We were able to get a nice harvest of carrots and beets and we will be able to do that two or three times over before we officially retire our spring plot. All of the sweet onions have been dug up and are currently spread out in our pack shed where we will let them cure for 3-5 days.
The next big harvest on the agenda is Irish potatoes; however, that will have to wait until next week as we are going to be busy planting our sweet potato slips over the next couple of days. I ordered our slips from New Sprout Organic Farm again this year and am once again pleased with the product. It is recommended to plant the slips as soon as possible once they are received and the ideal scenario would be to set them out on the front end of a couple of overcast days so as to avoid scorching the newly planted cuttings.
The blackberry patch is off to a great start this season and we have already harvested over 100 pounds of beautiful, plump berries.
A sorghum/sudangrass hybrid was planted as a summer cover crop on a couple of our spring fields where the soil had become compacted. This crop has many uses in an organic rotation and really fits our needs this year. It is quick to germinate and provides good weed suppression; it also has a deep root system that does a nice job of breaking up compacted soils. In addition, it typically grows 6-8 feet and can be utilized as a green manure to add an abundance of organic matter to the soil.
We will continue to plant squash and zucchini every couple of weeks for the duration of the summer months ahead. There is a late planting of tomatoes and peppers that will be set out next week and pumpkins and watermelons will be sown the following week.
Before you know it, we will be starting seeds for our fall planting…the growing never stops! That’s all for this edition. I hope you all have an awesome June and I look forward to giving you an update next month!