This is the time of year that everything happens at once. Not enough time for much beyond the farm. Turning to the needs in the field is sometimes the best way to cope with scary environmental and political news. Focus on the bounty and abundance can steer one toward generosity and hope.
Planting lettuce has become much more precise and fun for the crew!
These lettuces have been in the ground several weeks.
Left to right: Little Gem, Red Butter and Cherokee lettuce, full grown, this week’s salad
People often ask why we don’t leave the beet greens on the beets. This is the answer. They just don’t look good. But the beets are fine, so the leaves are left in the field to nourish the soil.
Yellow straight-neck squash, in all it’s glory!
First winter squash planting is still flowering!
Winter squash is sizing up under a healthy leaf canopy.
3 melons plantings at various stages of maturity.
Fall’s onion crop is sizing up nicely!
Three weeks of beans. Once these are harvested, we’ll be finished with beans until next year.
New artichoke planting. These little plants should be yielding ‘chokes early next spring.
Looking across the fence, it’s interesting to see how the grapes have been corralled and exposed.
Field of zinnias behind the Farm Stand, invaded by giant pumpkins.
Our Saturday Farm Stand is off to a roaring start. We thank our supportive community. Couldn’t do it without you.
California has had a bunch of rain this month. And it’s taken a toll on our fields, especially the artichokes. Wet soil and wind combined to flatten many of the tall, in-full-production, gorgeous plants. I guess the weeds, mud compaction and cold hands are a small price to pay for the groundwater recharge. Onward!
Artichokes blown down
Hopefully this lettuce will recover when the sun comes out.
Paul’s shop has gotten more attention because of the rain. It shows in the organization here.
Asparagus is coming. Must be spring!
We are rich in cabbage, just in time for St. Patrick’s day!
These brussels sprouts are about done. They look crazy at this stage, like a big Dr. Seuss flower.
Strange as we adjust to a wet forecast with heavy rains in December and January. Our soils were too wet to plant for months. Transplants were ready but had nowhere to go. Finally we are back planting after a much longer break than in the past 4 years, maybe more. That means we will have gaps in product coming this spring. We already see it at the Farmers’ Market, with far less lettuce to sell than customers are ready to buy.
But we’re rolling along now. Even though, several storms are poised on the horizon, we have taken advantage of the warm, dry spell that we’ve been enjoying for a month. Lettuces, greens, fennel and more have been tucked into the ground, waiting now for a rain, hopefully not too much.
The next beds of carrots.
Collard is beginning to flower next to beds waiting for transplants.
Artichokes are in full production right now.
The bee hives have various degrees of activity. This one was very busy with the spring-like temperatures and numerous flowers blooming. Our insect pollinators are struggling these days, a whole other story.
Bell beans in cover crop
Brussels sprouts just before they were tilled under. Aphids got to them.
Snap (on the left) and English peas
Snap peas are close!
Moving irrigation pipes into the field is an essential part of the planting day.
Filling the truck with transplants from the greenhouse before nestling them into the ground.
The small greenhouse has moved! And it’s back in action, just in time.
This view is from the back of the tool. It shows a cage-like roller, which will follow the aggressive disc, to break up large chunks of soil.
Paul with his chain driven hoist, makes the welding far easier.
New discs. They’ll never look like this again.
Our cultivating tractor sits idle most of the winter.
Yes, celery root and parsnips are making an appearance on our table at the farmers’ market this week. We’re all longing for cooler, wet weather. Wandering around the fields this early evening, I am speechless for the beauty.
The crop of beets (red, gold and chioggia) look lush. Should begin to harvest in a few weeks.
Parsnips were harvested out of this row for tomorrow’s market.
Paul is reluctant to pose for me, too busy.
The romaine this week was huge!
Leeks dashing across the ground
Brocoli and cauliflower
I promise there are small carrots coming. This is the next 7 beds.
Aren’t these brassicas Amazing!
A little swale planting, to slow down the water. Looking ahead toward rain.
The onion transplant bed
Next week’s Little Gems.
Chocolate brown pasilla peppers. Dry them for a traditional mole sauce.
The low field has been cover cropped.
Pumpkins to sell tomorrow
Hard to believe but we’re more than half way through 2015. Pumpkins and other winter squash are ripening. The corn is finished, much to the disappointment of our local customers. Tomatoes are ripe and the melons are so aromatic the bees are tumbling around in their flowers. The pictures should speak louder than my words.
August 11, just before the onions began drying down.
August 23, onions drying down
Paul preps the field for planting chicories.
Winter squash is thriving, with Santos planting chicories in the background.
Serrano peppers are loaded!
Two types of lettuce, ready to transplant, with a bed all ready.
Four successions of sunflowers, planted every two weeks.
Eggplant! The first planting was lost. This crop is coming very soon.
Fennel and radicchio dot the field.
Our kales and other greens have had a hard summer.
The next two crops of beans. We’ve been gapping on beans. They should be back at the market next week…
Giant pumpkins are revealing themselves by the Farm Stand.
“Sunshine” kabocha squash
Shallots and red onions dry under the big old oak. Nice place for the bees, huh?
Been a while.
So much is growing strong! Here’s a glimpse of various crops. One field finishes and before I can blink, on goes the compost, beds are shaped, seeds are planted and t-tape is pulled. Whoosh!
And the Farm Stand opens Saturday. 9-1. See you there!
The last brassica planting, still to harvest.
Sunflowers open look good from a distance…
Open sunflowers nailed by insects. ;-(
Green peppers, still a month, mas o menos, from harvest.
Melons on drip
Last planting of melons emerge
Second planting of watermelons
First planting of watermelons showing fruit!
I am amazed I have not posted in such a long time. I am sorry to jump over months of farm activity.
This year, as always, we have much less produce coming out of the fields, than at other times of the year. We’re running into shortages at the market, running out of salad crops within an hour of the start. Beds in the field are damp and cold, not conducive to plant growth. But ground is drying and things are being planted. Our tables will again be full in a month or so. Let me catch you up, visually.
Fava beans are blooming madly.
This crop of artichokes is especially delicious. Hope you can get some at the market while they last, another month or so.
Yesterday’s brassica planting
This crop of Red Butter Lettuce should be on our market stand next week.
Peas in full flower. We’ll have sugar snaps and English shelling peas this year.
Second planting of peas
Paul is very busy this spring.
The greenhouse is wonderful place to work on a blustery day.