September 21, 2015 Farm News

Four rows of Kale, 3 green curled and one red and some Lancinato (dinosaur) at the other end)

Four rows of Kale, 3 green curled and one red and some Lancinato (dinosaur) at the other end)

The beets, centre, with eggplant cabbages and cauliflowers to the left and onions and another row of eggplants on the right. Arugula can also be seen in the onion row gaps.

The beets, centre, with eggplant cabbages and cauliflowers to the left and onions and another row of eggplants on the right. Arugula can also be seen in the onion row gaps.

So I think that this is the last day of summer, we are 3/4 of the way round in our orbit of the sun, and because of the earth’s tilt we will be continue to see the days shorten until December 21 or thereabouts.  It could be looked on as a long slow descent into winter, but it is not all down hill and winter is very likely a long way off still, we will have plenty of good growing weather yet and probably even some very hot days too.  We should be very happy to have the frost stay away until November.

It is still early morning and she has not yet roused herself.

It is still early morning and she has not yet roused herself.

The rainfall was very welcome as we were once again getting to be very dry. We didn’t begin to irrigate again but things were showing signs of wanting a good drink. Yesterday’s rain at 16 mm was the most in a single day since June 27 when we had about 38mm and though August 2 saw 15mm, all of July had but 9mm. The pastures are gradually growing back but slowly and the cows and horses have to eat in the meantime and must be out of doors.  The horses still have a little bit of new pasture, pasture that has not been grazed at all this year but the cows are rotating through pastures that have not yet had time to recover.

Dairy Shorthorn cow Tippy at early morning breakfast on a slowly recovering pasture.

Dairy Shorthorn cow Tippy at early morning breakfast on a slowly recovering pasture.

Gathering round the old water fountain for the early morning sip.

Gathering round the old water fountain for the early morning sip.

The cauliflowers at centre and left and cabbages to the right, some already harvested.

The cauliflowers at centre and left and cabbages to the right, some already harvested.

The garden is doing alright now though those veggies such as pepper, okra and the cucumbers are suffering from the cold nights that have occurred several times over the past two months. The tomatoes and the summer squashes, the zucchinis and their relatives, are suffering a bit from the cold nights but are suffering more from the effects of late and/or early blight, in the case of the tomatoes or from powdery mildews in the case of the squashes.  We also were unable to get enough water to many things and that did not help.  But a lot of the veggies are doing well.  The kale, the still small spinach and the lettuces, the chard, the onions until we ran out of them, the tomatoes were doing quite well, eggplant looks great but is not producing near as much fruit as we’d like, still time, tomatillos were producing in great abundance, arugula is plentiful and will soon be ready to harvest in earnest, cauliflower plants have grown enormous and are starting to flower but we do have a cabbage butterfly larva problem, the larva being those wee green velvety worms that infest all those cole crops, especially cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. The sweet corn did not do well from the start. Poor germination then too dry, but those of a good medium size were just fine. We yearn for more.

The winter squash.  The spaghettis in the foreground show the powdery mildew on the leaves  but the acorns further down are unaffected and look green and healthy.

The winter squash. The spaghettis in the foreground show the powdery mildew on the leaves but the acorns further down are unaffected and look green and healthy.

In spite of all the problems and difficulties we have had a pretty good year.  We’ll see if we can remember to correct our mistakes for next year. Several more weeks to go with the veggies.

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One Response to September 21, 2015 Farm News

  1. Robert Feagan says:

    Robin — thanks for the update. Can’t help musing on why I kind of admire and perhaps envy that cow chewing her cud in that lovely spot in the field. Perhaps I just need to chew my cud more.

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