August 22, 2016

Summer's Heat


Our farm skies have been interesting to watch this past week. I spied some early geese making a “V” along the creek, and later that evening, I caught a few meteors burning in the night sky. During the day, it is usually clear and hot; other times, it is cloudy and hot, and for a couple days recently, a local fire made it smoky and hot.
The heat is good for some crops and a menace for others, especially our little transplants. By adjusting our watering habits and taking advantage of the cool mornings, we can avoid getting burned too badly.

We start planting in the early morning. As soon as there is light we are slipping fragile, young kale and chard seedlings fresh from the greenhouse into our soil, which already has moisture from a pre-irrigation the day before. As soon as the first several beds are filled, we twist open the sprinklers on those rows to relieve the little babes from the dry heat. On these hot days, we try to finish early in the afternoon to avoid exposure to the dry, 100-degree wind that may rise up and threaten to wither the plant before we can put the water on.

It has been hot enough that the tiny plants have slumped over sideways despite our efforts. When this happens, it takes some faith to remain calm and know that all is not lost. This happens every summer, and the plants recover in a day or so with a steady supply of water. It is a huge relief to see them perk up! Some of the plants that we’ve seen perk up this past week have been fennels, chards, kales, collards, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower and lettuce. We’re planting seeds too, so look out for fall vegetables of all kinds coming along in September!