Farm Happenings at Farmer Joe's Gardens
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[CSA Update] Welcome to week 14

Posted on June 22nd, 2020 by Ida DeFrancesco


Just looking for a breeze as the heatwave wraps around us this week. I am thankful that I'm not covered in feathers - that's it, look for the positive! 90s in the fields stunts plant development and browns out new growth, and it sets us back some. Since 1994, water conservation is an ever-present effort around the farm. As a small farm, I have to include effort and cost in a balance with quality produce reaching harvest. This week I installed drip irrigation with two new crops to ensure the effects of the dry conditions we are experiencing now do not prevent a harvest in four weeks or more. I expanded our irrigation capability by 25% and installed a new water pump to work more efficiently.

Does anyone have relatives in Illinois? They experienced 3 inches of rain in 30 minutes. Ideally, an inch of rain a week would keep a crop happy - just need a happy medium. The picture of the soil peeling like chips shows just how dry it is out there. It's not from some far off desert.  The state is abnormally dry, and pockets of land like ours are experiencing low surface moisture and are experiencing drought.

In spite of the harsh conditions, the fields are surviving with the help of long days of watering. Squash and cucumbers are taking the most irrigation time to keep them going - squash is 95% water while cucumbers are 90%. The fennel and kohlrabi are doing well despite the heat. The dark greens should be picking again in a week or two. The peas are exciting to see this week - give everyone a chance to pop a few fresh pods as a raw snack before you toss them into a recipe. We eat them instead of chips around the house.