Farm Happenings at Fifth Crow Farm
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And then there was a heat wave..

Posted on September 8th, 2022 by Teresa Kurtak

Pictured above: Norman, our neighborhood Great Blue Heron, hunting gophers among the Little Gems

Farm News: 

We know we're lucky here on the Coast and that our temps have been way cooler than those of you inland... but we're really not used to it.  Plants, livestock, and people alike were struggling in the heat this week.  The Beefsteak and Kakao tomatoes, which are under high tunnels were literally cooked on the plants. The more green fruit seems ok, so I think there will be more to come, but most of this week's harvest is toast. The Buttercup winter squash all got sunburned too :(  Luckily this wasn't quite as bad as heat waves we've experienced in the last 5 years or so, one of which scalded and burned our apples on the trees as well as damaged all the onions curing in the fields. It felt like we were all in a clothes dryer.

On another note for you bean lovers, we've just started harvesting and threshing dry beans, but for those of you wondering, we likely won't have time to start cleaning this year's crop till after Christmas once Fall & Winter crops are in, the empty fields cover cropped, CSA over, and Fall harvest behind us.  Despite this heat, Fall is coming and it looks like we should be able to cut and start curing Winter Squash pretty soon. Mmmm. Can't wait for that first Pumpkin Pie.

Product Highlights:

Corn!! It's finally ready, but we need to hurry before the Helicoverpa zea (Corn Earworm) gets it all. You many have noticed that Organic corn in the stores frequently has the tip cut off.  This is because of the ubiquitous Corn Earworm.  If you don't spray.. they find it.  The adult is a moth that can lay from 500 to 3000 eggs each.  It's larvae munch and gobble up corn like there's no tomorrow.  Most organic sprays have limited efficacy.  Conventional corn is sprayed with some pretty heavy stuff to keep them at bay.  So... we'll do our best to trim and send these guys to the chickens, but I'm sure a few will get past us.  Be warned, but know this is proof that no toxic substances have been used to keep them away, and they aren't going to hurt you or make the remaining corn they haven't eaten inedible.  In Northern climates, the cold winter's really slow them down and they don't manage to overwinter and only have 1-2 lifecycles per year, but in our climate they can manage 4-5 life cycles and our lack of super cold freezes means that they can survive all the way till Spring.