Farm Update July 22, 2017

Another week of monsoon and nearly another inch of rain at the farm. The plants and farmers are happy! Everything is growing very quickly and putting on lots of fruit. The tomato and cucumber vines are growing so fast that we are barely able to keep up with the trellising. These plants will both soon reach the top of their 9 foot trellises.

We will have some peaches and more black mission figs at the market this week. Both of these are from friends that have organic home orchards that are producing too much for them to use, so they are allowing us to harvest and sell the fruit.

So far we have had an entire week with no rattlesnake surprises in the field. I hope I didn’t just jinx us for the harvest.

We will see you at the market.

romano beans
greens mix

 

Farm Update July 15, 2017

The monsoon has been good to us so far! We have received 2.56in of rain at the farm, most of it in 2 storms.

This is the year for rattlesnakes at the farm. We extracted two more from the purple bush bean bed in the last week. I hope there aren’t any more in that bed. It makes me nervous when I am picking beans.

We will see you at the market!

Joe

purple beans on the bush
purple beans in the bucket

Farm Update July 8, 2017

We are still looking for farm workers and for volunteers on harvest and other days. Please contact me at joe@southwindsfarm.org or 520-909-4903 if you are interested or if you know anyone who would like to intern or volunteer.

We had a great start to the monsoon on July 3rd with about 3/4in of rain and a trace on the 4th. We are hoping to receive more rain soon!

The tomatoes, cucumbers and bush bean plants are loaded with fruit that aren’t quite ready to pick yet. The summer squash is another matter as we have been harvesting about 40 pounds of patty pan and zucchini every day lately. Also, I checked the potato plants a couple days ago and they should be ready to harvest in two weeks or so.

We will see you at the market!

Arizona flag sunset
tomato vines after second trellising

Farm Update July 1, 2017

As you may remember, this weekend there will be no CSA distribution at Rillito and Green Valley/Sahuarita. We are taking a week off from the CSA for the Independence Day holiday weekend.

We will still be selling at our farm stand at the Rillito farmers’ market on Sunday, July 2. Please stop by if you need anything on our availability list.

We will not be at the Good Shepherd UCC on Monday morning.

We are looking for farm workers and for volunteers on harvest and other days. Please contact me at joe@southwindsfarm.org or 520-909-4903 if you are interested or if you know anyone who would like to intern or volunteer.

Our summer crops are getting closer to being ready to harvest. I have eaten the earliest few ripe tomatoes and there should be more soon. There are tiny cucumbers on the vines and the peppers are blooming and starting to form. The purple and Romano flat beans in the first bed are nearly ready to pick.

Have a great Independence Day holiday!

We will see you at the Rillito Farmer’s Market this Sunday!

Tomatoes!

Farm Update June 25, 2017

As I write this I am hunkered down inside the TinyHouse trying to beat the heat. I harvested until a little after noon when the temperature climbed above 100 degrees. It is 105 out there right now. Of course, those of you living in Tucson have had to endure much higher temperatures.

I am currently running sprinklers in the field, moving them every hour or so to cool off the plants. I have been doing this all week. So far, the bush beans have fared the worse in the heat. About a quarter of the bean plants in one bed has perished – they just couldn’t deal with the 110+ heat earlier in the week. Luckily another bed of bush beans has survived okay. The greens beds are also suffering a bit, but there are some new beds on the way.

The plants in the high tunnel are doing much better as the 40% shade cloth is keeping it significantly cooler in there. They are still subject to the hot winds we have had the last few afternoons, but the sprinklers help quite a bit.

The onset of the monsoon should occur soon – can’t happened quickly enough for me! We have already had some decent cloud build-ups and a brief shower. I was in Sierra Vista Tuesday evening and there was a nice rain just after sunset.

We’ll see you this Sunday at the market and Monday at our Green Valley/Sahuarita CSA drop off.

clouds building over the Whetstone Mountains
red&green lettuce with rattlesnake

Farm Update June 17, 2017

With some help from some volunteers and our hardworking farmers we covered the high tunnel frame with shade cloth Thursday morning. Thank you Elizabeth, John, Dianne, Ian and Steve !! The plants in the high tunnel will be shaded and this should increase their production through the summer. It will be very hot over the next few days, so the shade cloth was installed just in time.

The summer squash are finally producing. We have 3 types of patty pan and classic zucchini plants cranking out the squash right now.

We’ll see you this Sunday at the market and Monday at our Green Valley/Sahuarita CSA drop off.

Farm Update June 10, 2017

We had a fairly hot week out here at the farm, but there was a very light shower late Wednesday afternoon – no significant accumulation, but it cooled things down a bit and settled the dust for a few hours. The dry lightning associated with the storms also started some fires around here. To the east we can see the smoke from the Lizard Fire in the daytime and the flames at night. The fire is about 10 miles east of us.

I just received notice that our shade cloth order is waiting for pick up at the shipping terminal in Tucson. So we will be putting the new shade cloth on the high tunnel next week. This will create a cooler environment for all the crops under the high tunnel ñ tomatoes, chiles, peppers, cucumbers and summer squash.

As you can see in the images, the potato plants are blooming; this means the plants are starting to form the tubers. We will be harvesting tasty Kennebec spuds soon!

The zucchini and patty pan squash plants are also blooming, so we will also soon have zukes and patty pan at the market.

And —> the purple bush bean plants are loaded with flowers, so the beans are on the way.

We’ll see you this Sunday at the market and Monday at our Green Valley/Sahuarita CSA drop off.

Thank you for supporting local, sustainable agriculture!

squash blossoms
potato flowers

Farm Update June 3, 2017

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.

Farm Update May 20, 2017

This week we planted the sweet pepper seedlings in the high tunnel – corno di toro and lunchbox peppers. Today we will plant cucumber seedlings and some of the chile plants – jalapeños and Aleppo peppers.

This upcoming week we will finally put our sweet potato slips into the ground. We are a bit late planting these, but they should be ready to dig in late September while it is still warm.

As a reminder, we will take next weekend off – Memorial Day Weekend. We will not be distributing CSA shares, nor will we be selling at the Rillito market.

We’ll see you this Sunday at the market and Monday at our Green Valley/Sahuarita CSA drop off.

potato plants after hilling up
asparagus growing tall

Farm Update May 14, 2017

This week at the farm, we finally got our tomato seedling in the ground, after putting up a 9-foot (!) trellis inside the high tunnel. We also planted the second round of summer squash seeds (zucchini and 3 kinds of patty pan) in the high tunnel. We are going to experiment with growing the summer squash on trellis to minimize the space needed to grow squash. Should be interesting to see how it works.

Today we are digging garlic. The curing process will take place in our pumphouse on top of the water tank on a drying rack and on just about any other shaded horizontal space we can find on the farm. Last year the entire loft of the Tiny House was filled with garlic, but that space is already full of household items now as the ground floor construction occurs.

We will have plenty of fresh garlic for sale this week and for months to come.

We’ll see you at the markets!

garlic ready for curing
garlic ready for digging