Heat, humidity, and horseflies: the hellish H’s of August. Add to that the ragweed, which is now releasing pollen in clouds that resemble smoke, and we’re feeling pretty run down. Please continue to request & use extras & bulk, because we don’t have time or energy to handle leftovers of abundant produce when it occurs.
It’s hot. We’re glad we got a lot of the fall crops in the ground while the weather was cool, so now we can focus on harvest & maintenance in the fields. We’ve been using the hot afternoons to can, dry, freeze, & ferment the surplus while it is available. This is a good time to put in requests for extras & preserve some of your own as well. Continue reading
Okra, sweet peppers (Chervena Chushka), & a honey bee on flowering buckwheat (a cover crop).
Upcoming crops: Close-up of bean flower, pole beans, & leeks.
July was extraordinarily cool, especially as compared to the blast furnace of 2012. As pleasant as the working conditions were, it was also quite dry (less than 1/3 average rainfall) and we’re quickly re-entering the drought conditions that so worried us earlier in the year. You can clearly see this in the annual precip graph for Columbia, maintained by NWS, which shows how we’ve flirted with drought all year (other than one dousing in early April) and are now something like 4″ under average since the rain shut off in early July. We can see the vegetation transitioning to that yellow-tinged hue of dry summers, and the ground is rock-hard with cracks showing through. Still, a lot of neat things were happening in our ecosystem, as this month’s photos document. Continue reading
Missouri’s Amendment 1 is getting international attention. Midday Monday, just as we prepared for lunch after packing CSA shares for afternoon delivery , we received a call from the producer of the CBC Radio show As It Happens, a “national evening radio-current affairs program”. They were interested on doing a story about Right To Farm, had found our Op/Ed piece in July 27’s Columbia Tribune, and wanted to interview us. So our afternoon deliveries were temporarily postponed while Eric talked to the show’s host. The ~7 minute segment aired Monday evening, and can be found in their August 4th podcast, starting at around the 18:45 mark. Give it a listen, we think it came out reasonably well.
Vote NO, eh!
The weather this summer has been more pleasant than we could reasonably expect, and as we head into August, the Climate Prediction Center continues to forecast below normal temperatures. No complaints here, though it may slow down the crops such as okra and eggplant that thrive in heat. Sure makes our lives easier for getting fall crops established, though. Some rain would be nice, as it has now been more than 3 weeks since we’ve had an amount that meant anything. Continue reading
Another week, more tasty & abundant produce. Tuesday’s oppressive conditions were a worthwhile reminder of how nice the weather’s been this year, when a day like that is the extreme rather than the norm. Peppers & tomatoes continue to look really nice and appear to be on the verge of serious production. The repeated rounds of much-below-normal temperatures this year make us wonder whether the warm-season crops will be cut short by earlier-than-usual frost (in, say, September), so enjoy them while you can.
In other news, look for an Op-Ed piece from us in Sunday’s Columbia Tribune on the upcoming Right To Farm amendment vote. We’ve spent a while wrestling with how to present our complex feelings on the subject, and hope the result gets our message across. Please vote NO on the “Right to Farm” amendment.
This has been a long and stressful week, with many things going wrong. Enjoy the produce, since most crops are doing well. There are many important notes on upcoming items below, please read. Continue reading
The garlic harvest is in! This is always a major pulse of work at the height of long summer days, and we’re thrilled to have it done and looking so good. Garlic was an important crop for us during our market days, and we still grow lots of varieties in quantities that will be ample for the CSA. 2012 and 2013 were dreadful years for garlic, but we now seem to be back on track. We are planning to include garlic in every distribution from now until the end of the season. Please see our garlic page for more information about the various varieties we grow, seen here hanging in our barn to cure properly.