August 29, 2019

Summer's End

Farm News Photo 1

Farm News 

Our first planting of heirloom tomatoes is nearing the end of its season. Seeded in the greenhouse in January, these tiny transplants were tucked into the field in March and have been producing fruit since June.

Farm News Photo 2

The bottom of the vines look old and tired. The leaves are brown from something that I write off as age, but the tops of the plants are still growing, shooting out sticky vines that stretch for the sky, dotted with little yellow flowers. These flowers don’t know it, but they are too late and too far off the ground to finish the process they’ve started. It is so late in the season that the fruit they set now won’t ripen before the first rains. Even if they could, they are so far away from their root system that the water won’t make it up that high to deliver a good sized heirloom tomato.

Farm News Photo 4

Across the farm, the last heirloom tomato planting is just beginning to be harvested. Near the ground its leaves still look great and the green heirlooms hang like jewels. This final planting will yield through the end of summer and into fall.

Just as we finish the end of summer harvest, the beginning of fall planting is happening. My little chards, kales, fennels, cabbages, collards and lettuces have found their way out of the greenhouse and into the fields. Throughout the fields little yellow moths flutter here and there, displaced from an alfalfa field being harvested. I know what they are up to. When I am not looking they lay their little eggs onto my plants and I fight back by applying biological worm controls in the field. This food is for my customers, not them! I walk the fields every morning looking for progress as well as the beginning of problems I can prevent. Growing vegetables organically is a tedious process.

Farm News Photo 5

The Satsuma mandarin trees look good, they are dark green with new neon green shoots on the outer limits of their branches. Camouflaged within the green leaves are green mandarins that are the size of a tennis ball.

Farm News Photo 6

This time of year the intense summer sun shows itself on these green spheres as bright yellow spots — a.k.a. sunburn. I cut one open and breath in the smell of greenery with a hint of citrus. The first of them will be ripe sometime in October, but most of them will not arrive until November.

Know your food is coming form a healthy farm, with healthy crops supporting a healthy community.