Yesterday a very strong dust devil ripped off and shredded a portion of the high-tunnel cover. We will remove the remainder of the cover and attach shade cloth for the summer months. In the fall when it cools off we will put on a new cover.
Our tomato plants are growing really fast now. Many have blossoms and a few have tiny green tomatoes. This weekend I hope to get them trimmed and trellised in preparation for continued rapid growth.
The summer squash that we are planning to grow on a trellis are also growing quickly now. We will see how they take to being grown vertically. If it works, it will save a lot of space in our field.
We’ll see you this Sunday at the market and Monday at our Green Valley/Sahuarita CSA drop off.
Our order of seed potatoes arrived yesterday late in the day. We have been getting the beds ready for planting and there is a bit more to do before the soil is ready for planting. We will rip the soil deeply and then add cocopeat and compost. Then we will turn the soil a couple more times to mix it all thoroughly. Finally, we will dig furrows and plant the seed potatoes. This season we are planting Kennebec russets. They store longer than the Colorado Rose potatoes that we grew last year. We have also increased the number of rows, so we should have a larger harvest than last year. We will find out in early June when we dig the potato crop.
This week we did our last market in Green Valley for awhile. We will likely return to the market there in the late fall. Thank you to all our customers in Green Valley! We will miss you this summer.
We will be delivering CSA shares to the Good Shepherd Church on Monday mornings between 9:30a and 11:30a. Our Green Valley customers who are not CSA shareholders this summer are welcome to email us your orders by noon on Saturday and we will bring your order to the CSA distribution location. Please email or call if you need more information.
Yesterday we provided a farm tour to a group of middle school students from The Gregory School. We showed them our solar panels, our watering system, our seedlings in the hoophouse, the growing beds, the new high tunnel and our washing/prep facilities. They asked lots of great questions. We served them some freshly harvested baby carrots and sent them home with some big bags of spinach to share.
This week at the market we continue to reserve spots and accept payments for the spring/summer CSA program. The forms are available at the markets, and in the CSA box on the right sidebar of this website, and here. We will stick with a 50-share program this round, so please let us know if you are interested in a spot. The summer shares will include potatoes, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, chiles, flowers, cucumbers, melons, okra, squash, salad mixes, among many other tasty ingredients.
Yesterday we completed most of the frame for our high tunnel greenhouse. Many tasks remain to finish the greenhouse. As mentioned last week in the newsletter, we are seeking Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday volunteers to help with the construction for the next few weeks. We will start around 8a and work until around 4p. If you are interested in volunteering with the construction, please let me know.
We have had a few warm days this week and more are on the way, according to predictions. This is helping our crops to grow more quickly. Most of our bed space is planted out and we should see increasing production in the following weeks. That will be reflected in our market stands at Rillito and Green Valley.
We are harvesting rapidly this morning, trying to stay ahead of the rain predicted to start this afternoon. I hope the rain doesn’t keep our customers away from the farmers’ market. We will be there!
On Thursday we planted many Iitoi’s onion bulbs, so you should be seeing them in the markets in a couple months. We haven’t had them in awhile, so I will be excited to have them available again.
We are seeing a lot of javalina activity at the farm. It started about a month ago and has been increasing. They can’t get into our field because it is fenced, but they have been visiting every night and last night they knocked over one trash barrel and scattered trash everywhere. It is definitely time for a more secure trash can.
Yesterday afternoon we had a surprise out here at the farm in the form of snow. About an inch accumulated in a little less than an hour. I couldn’t resist the visual pun so I took a few pictures of our snow peas.
It rained off and on all night and the snow was melted this morning. It is still pretty nippy as we are harvesting today.
The broccoli now has small heads; you should be seeing some in your shares within a few weeks.
Our carrots are also growing – very slowly, but they are growing. They will be showing up in your shares within a month or so.