Wow, that was a quick month! October here we come.
The grasshopper population is still increasing and now they are chewing on just about everything. The last week we cleared quite a few of the weeds in the east terrace and thereby eliminated a lot of hopper habitat, so many of them moved to the squash and into the high tunnel. We should be able to get them under control this following week as we eliminate most of the rest of the weeds and use neem oil derivatives to slow down their reproduction and development.
Removing the weeds has also opened up beds for planting, so we have been applying compost, preparing the beds and doing some direct seeding. The spinach is in and yesterday I planted another bed of greens mix.
We had a few mornings in the 40s and one in the high 30s over the last week. These cool morning temperatures really slowed down the ripening of the tomatoes. In just a few weeks, the weekly harvest plummeted from about 400 pounds down to less than 100. There are still many green tomatoes on the vines, so we will have them for awhile. Once we get the new cover on the high tunnel, the tomatoes (along with the sweet peppers and chiles) will have a warmer environment in which to grow.
As we have been mentioning the last few weeks, we will be selling CSA shares for our fall & winter CSA season that will start on November 12 and continue until mid-March. The fall & winter CSA program is now about 1/3 subscribed. The forms will be available at the Sunday market, and in the CSA box on the right sidebar of this website,
The Great Ripening is upon us! We are harvesting loads of plum tomatoes now. Yesterday we harvested about 80 pounds from about 2/3 of the row. We have the tomatoes at the market this Sunday and should have them until early December.
Also, the corno di toro Italian sweet peppers are finally ripening en masse, as are the jalapeños and lunchbox peppers. All of these plants should continue to produce for a couple months at least.
We have had a few volunteers this week and have been able to get a bit more done on controlling the massive volume of weeds in our field. Little by little we are getting a handle on the weeds.
We will soon be selling CSA shares for our fall & winter CSA season that will start in early November and continue until mid-February. Please let us know if you want us to reserve a share for you.
Thank you for supporting local, organic, sustainable farming in southern AZ !
We dug another row of Kennebec potatoes today. They will be in the CSA shares and available at the market.
Yesterday evening we planted hundreds of winter squash seeds. This is about 3 weeks late, but we will still be able to harvest them before the first frosts in November. We will be growing two varieties – butternut, of course, and Delicata. We have not grown Delicata before and we are looking forward to harvesting them. Our winter squash strategy this year is to grow both types. While the butternut are curing for a couple months we will be selling the Delicata, which are ready to eat as soon as they are harvested.
We also planted another round of summer squash – zucchini and two varieties of patty pan squash. We should be harvesting them in about 5 weeks from now.
Our jalapeños are ready to start harvesting. The first of the corno di toro Italian sweet peppers are just starting to turn red, so we will have the first ones at the market in a couple weeks or so.
The Suyo Long cucumber production has exploded; we are harvesting more than 60 pounds every other day now and it looks like this rate will increase! If you are interested in some for pickling, let us know and we will be happy to provide them in bulk at a lower price than we sell them for at the market.
Thank you for supporting local, organic, sustainable agriculture!
We are still planting our summer crops; it is a bit late on some and quite late on others, but we are chugging along. The tomato plants are finally in the ground – went in last week. They survived the high winds of the last few days and look like they will be fine. The variety is Verona, a delicious plum tomato type that we have planted for a few years. They do well in the heat and are prolific producers.
This week we plan to get all the chiles and peppers into the ground, which will free up a lot of space in the hoophouse. The year we will double our planting of corno di toro Italian sweet peppers as well as the small lunchbox peppers. We also have jalapeños, and will be trying two New Mexico chile varieties – Jarales and Sinahuisa. Our poblano seeds germinated very poorly and I haven’t had time to replant, but will do so this week. So the poblanos won’t be ready until late in the season, but they will be ready in time for the chiles en nogada for Mexican Independence Day on September 16.
For two more weeks, we will be continuing the sign-up for the late spring/summer CSA share program. If you are not a CSA shareholder, please consider it. The program will consist of 16 weeks of deliveries to the markets starting the third week of May and continuing into September. The cost will be $250. We will have the signup forms at our farm stands and available online. Please let us know if you’d like to reserve a spot or if you have any friends/coworkers/neighbors who are interested. Thank you for your consideration.
We harvested the entire French red shallot crop on Tuesday. Wow! I didn’t weigh it yet, but I think the weight is somewhere between 200 and 400 pounds. We have shallots drying on many makeshift horizontal surfaces, as you can see in the images. And that is only about half of them; the loft of the Tiny House is also full of shallots as is two more temporary surfaces above what will be the living room. In 4 or 5 weeks the shallots will be cured and we will be able to reclaim those spaces and move the shallots into cold storage.
Our small hoophouse is now full of seedlings waiting to be transplanted into beds in the field. The images show some tomatoes, chiles and peppers.
This week we will continue the sign-up for the late spring/summer CSA. It will consist of 16 weeks of deliveries to the markets starting the third week. of May and continuing into September. The cost will be $250. We will have the signup forms at our farm stands and available online. Please let us know if you’d like to reserve a spot.