Boy we’re back in the August heatwave! My Grandpa used to say that during these warm nights when it doesn’t get below 70, things never stop growing. It sure seems to be the case here on the farm, so long as I can keep the water flowing.
Things remain somewhat tricky with the ag system; I’m coming to believe that the float valve on the main ag tank is not letting in as much water as it should, which means that more water is being pumped up to the top of the hill to the big storage tanks, and less is being put into the ag tank that we run off at all times. This has been a frustrating conundrum, one that has baffled me a number of times in the past two weeks. It’s better that there be plenty of water up on top then not enough, so it could be worse but has still been confusing.
Time has sure been flying by; it seems like hardly a blink of an eye passes before I’m sitting down to write the newsletter for a new week. It’s been a juggle managing the farm along with all of the various meetings we now attend; there are often times when I long for a more simple life with more time on the farm. Alas, it is not to be for the foreseeable future, though I look forward to a time when I will again be a full-time farmer without as many responsibilities in the policy arena.
Our team has been pulling full steam ahead, as the crops are smashing along. We’ve been harvesting almost every day, along with prepping and planting for fall. The first batches of kale, collards and cabbages have been planted out; they are not exactly loving the heat but we are confident that they will limp through until the cooler weather sets in. Plenty of water and mulch are essential for this part of the process (fingers crossed that the aforementioned ag systems continue operations).
The first batch of fall salad mix has sprouted in their trays, and our main seed-start hoophouse has a wide array of trays, 3” and 4” pots with lots of good things in them. We pulled the woven greenhouse cover and stretched shade cloth over the hoops, creating a cooler atmosphere for the young tenderlings. This has been working great, although we’ve found that they struggle with the transplant out into the full sun after having been sheltered by the shadecloth. We’re working on getting our scheduling down better so that they’re able to have a few days to harden off before planting them out, but it’s been tricky thus far. The other dilemma is that when hardening them off, they need to be watered more than the three times/day that we’re already doing. The added labor and juggling of schedules to make sure everything stays wet leaves us looking for other solutions like an irrigation system for the greenhouse. Always seeking greater efficiencies and less labor cost is the lot of the farmer.
Enjoy the full bombardment of summer this week; lots of tasty flavors; as always, we appreciate sharing the journey with you! Much love, great success, Team HappyDay :)