Newsletter 19-6 Devon Acres Organic Vegetables July 12 2012
Hello: We have had no rain for another week and it is now a very serious drought. Not only are the vegetables seriously impaired but the pastures are now dried up and eaten down; there is really nothing left in the pastures for the cattle or the sheep to eat, or so it would seem by walking across the dried grass, but they do find a bit to nibble on even though we are now feeding them hay. This of course is another grave concern since we are now forking out their winter feed supply. Not so bad if it weren’t for the serious shortage of hay across most of the province and though we got about the same yield as last year (everyone that I have spoken with has gotten less, about 1/3 to 1/2 of last year) we do need to get a few bales at least from a second cut in late August or September and that will require rain now and until it is cut and then a week or so of dry weather after it is cut. A risky business making hay. If we have to feed out hay for too long it will then mean that even a good second cut will not give us enough hay to make it through the winter. Things often seem really bleak but then comes a turn for the better and we wonder why we were so worried. We will get through, we did pick up a 3/4 load of loose hay forked on by hand and this is about equal to two large round bales and more will be found.
The garlic has not been too small but it also is not very large either. The good thing is that the flavour is excellent and we have lots more. The broccoli heads are quite small, about half the size we had expected due entirely to not enough water. We did take extra care to make sure that there were few if any cabbage worms, the little green guys. The onions were a good size. They are still growing and if left for another two months with enough rain they they will be double in size or more. More vegetables will be coming ready within the next two weeks including carrots, cucumber and summer squash. We may have a shortage of lettuce after this week but more is growing.
We have been watering everything almost constantly each day and have begun to put together an irrigation system which though not the elaborate system that was planned, will work well and get us through. The amount of water available will be somewhat less than ideal and the means of application may not be the best that we could have; cost is a major consideration as is the time to put it all together. It will give us very much improved yields and may prove to be more than adequate if we get some rain.
Thanks again and be sure to call us if you have any questions: Marie, Robin, Maggie and Aerron and our whole family.