Farm Update June 30, 2017

Wednesday night was not good. We spent time in the basement during the worst weather event in forty years on the farm. In spite of no publicity in our little area, the circular winds took tops off many of the stately 40 year old pines and left us with a litter strewn mess. One of the bee hives was twisted about 90 degrees when I found it under a large limb. The bees in none of the hives were happy and looking like they might want to swarm. So I gave them all a new honey super to work on hoping to refocus their activity.

The hoop houses are still up and the plants are looking good. The 7+ inches of rain seemed to wash right down the rows, leaving a layer of soil in the path, but we’ll trellis the tomatoes soon as the ground firms up and they should grow as usual. No one really knows how many inches we had as the rain gauges all topped out. We have some plastic beds to reset for sweet potatoes and tomatoes in the field and I’m sure the newly planted carrots are gone. We need to let most crops sit for a week to see the final outcome. Will topped over onions still continue to grow? Probably not. Will the cabbages that had been under water thrive? Are the beans still anchored? Did the potato beetles drown? (Looking for something good to come out of this) A short quarter mile away the corn is doing well. It missed the hail.

You might have seen the interview from the farm on Channel 23. The best picture was from Ben’s photos of his fantastic potatoes last week after final hilling and then the same view yesterday. The rain pushed the soil down off the plants and the leaves suffered hail damage. You can see some of the small potatoes. Hopefully he can re-hill before they react to the sun.

So, we’re asking for patience. We plan to take a week to determine which crops are worth saving and which get tilled under. Meanwhile it is time to plant for the fall bounty. Carrots, more lettuce, more beets, more beans, broccoli, more cabbages, cukes and dukes, and soon, some fall greens. We’re planning and planting for a great fall season.

As we move forward, we are looking to use farmland at Ben’s and Julie’s for more of the seeded row crops and covered beds. He’ll be moving his huge hoop house to his new farm along with his pigs. He should have quite the operation when all is in place. Meanwhile, he and farmer friends with equipment are using a rock picker to prep the ground there. It’s high ground and more sandy.

Please be patient and we’ll keep you informed about the farm resurrection.

We shall see . . .