Tag Archives: lettuce

June’s here…

…and changes continue.

IMG_5676There is so much to see, as one walks around the farm right now. Spring crops are finishing up. The asparagus is growing up and beginning to “frond”. It will continue to send up wiry, ferny stems until late in the fall, when it yellows and dries out. January or February next year, the bed will be “cultivated” or cleaned-up and spears will begin emerging in February or March.

Bye-bye chives...

Bye-bye chives…

We’ve had a spectacular crop of shelling peas this year. (I’ve even been able to put some in the freezer. Feels like money in the bank, they are that good.) The peas are almost done, beginning to dry in their pods. Another thing that is finishing for us is Salad Mix. We don’t grow a mix in the summer. It saves the crew having to fit that labor intensive task into their Tuesday and Thursday, while there are so many other things to pick. The salad mix is a wonderful convenience for our customers and we love it ourselves, but a break gives us the chance to look forward to Salad Mix coming back in the fall, to practice patience for produce we love. Beginning tomorrow, head lettuces will have to do.

There are a number of crops right around the corner … Romenesco (a green cauliflower with a most unusual shape), raspberries, potatoes and cucumbers, basil, raspberries, green beans …

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German butterball potatoes are flowering like crazy.

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Romanesco grows on an enormous plant.

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The white cauliflower seems like a prize, all wrapped up.

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Cucumbers are crawling.

And what will take up so much time in the coming months, you may ask? What will be on the menu in our household and others’ in our community and beyond? Standard summer fare with a few curveballs thrown in to keep everyone on our toes, to keep those routines from becoming a rut. There are naturally tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, melons and beans,  even some sweet corn this year, surprise, surprise!

Our farm stand opens on Saturday, June 14th. Lots of buzz and as much as we love sharing all the bounty, we’re relishing the last few weekends without it. The summer hustle is about to begin!

This bed of just planted shallots is growing on buried drip line, a refinement we hope will save precious water.

This bed of just planted shallots is growing on buried drip line, a refinement we hope will save precious water.

 

The first planting of tomatoes has been staked

The first planting of peppers have been staked. These padrons grow so tall, and they are rather fragile. Staking keeps them from tipping over and breaking.

 

Peppers are flowering and have been staked for support.

The first planting of tomatoes and have been staked for support.

 

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Summer Evenings…in January?

IMG_5057Yes, it’s weird. The days are gorgeous. We are hearing of snow and cold in much of the country and we sit in bliss with the whole day feeling like a warm summer evening. The sun stays low. It doesn’t get too hot.

We know we need rain. And we’d love to see it on the horizon. But we’ll put up with this loveliness as we don’t have much of a choice.

We’ll be back at the local Farmers’ Market this week, after a three week break. And we’ll have plenty!

Brussels sprouts galore

Brussels sprouts galore

Red cabbages

Red cabbages

Young collard and kales

Young collard and kales

Lacinato kale is crowning up.

Lacinato kale is crowning up.

These lettuces were planted this morning.

These lettuces were planted this morning.

Three different varieties of sprouting broccoli with various maturation dates.

Three different varieties of sprouting broccoli with various maturation dates.


Planting Carrots

Tools are lined up. The artichokes are being given a soaking in the background.

Tools are lined up. The artichokes are being given a soaking in the background.

It’s a beautiful day. As Christmas approaches, we are collecting our thoughts and preparing to take a few days to devote to our family and friends. For me, that means baking cookies, planning menus and moping the floors.

For Paul, that means planting carrots.

Garlic and leeks are next to the open beds, ready for the carrot seeds.

Garlic and leeks are next to the open beds, ready for the carrot seeds.

This planter will plant three rows of carrots to a bed.

This contraption will plant three rows of carrots to a bed.

The seeder in action, first dropping seeds, then the basket-like wheels roll over the seed, covering it with soil.

The seeder in action, first dropping seed, then the basket-like wheels roll over the seed, covering it with soil and tamping it down.

These beds will grow us carrots ready in the spring.

These carrots will be ready in the spring.

Conveniently next to the carrots being planted are 5 beds of carrots almost ready to pick.

Conveniently, next to the carrots being planted are 5 beds of carrots almost ready to pick.

We’re so excited to be hosting Christmas for the first time ever. Lots of my family are coming to town, spending time in Sonoma. We’re all avid cooks and this is certain to become a wonderful holiday to engage and enjoy each other. It’s sure to live on in my old memory bank as well.

This sprouting broccoli is thriving after the very cold weather. Other varieties of broccoli have really suffered.

This sprouting broccoli is thriving after the very cold weather. Other varieties of broccoli have really suffered.

lettuces


Shorter Days

Rows of salad ingredients

Rows of salad ingredients

The beauty of this fall is remarkable. The days have been warm, 65-75* F. and though the mornings are chilly, we have not yet had a freeze. It really couldn’t be much easier for the farm. The shorter days certainly are felt throughout the fields.

Rosehips

Rosehips

The last of the raspberries

The last of the raspberries

Eggplant and tomatoes nearing their finish...

Eggplant and tomatoes nearing their finish…

Tomatoes are almost through.

Tomatoes are almost through.

Cabbages are thriving

Cabbages are thriving

Another shift happens in our marketing. Our one local night market closed last week so we begin our CSA (community supported agriculture) box program this week running until the spring next year. It’s small and local (members pick up at the farm) and another way to connect with our customers. You can see more information about the CSA by clicking on the tab above.

CSA boxes

CSA boxes


Transition to Cool

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Brassicas and beets

It’s happening again. Shorter daylight, cooler nights,

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“Winter Luxury” pie pumpkins

The pie pumpkins are all cut and lined up, as they cure. They will be picked up and brought indoors before it starts raining. We will sell them throughout the winter. Our winter squash crop is small this year. It was planted in new low-fertility ground. Building soil takes time.

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Early morning lettuce picking

Today is Thursday, a big pick and pack day for the field crew.

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Lacinato kale and red-stemmed dandelion

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Rows of cabbage planted about 3 weeks ago

We have some beautiful fields, with fall crops coming in; Lacinato kale, celery, celery root, dandelion greens, savoy cabbage, brussels sprouts,.

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Beautiful savoy cabbage, ready in a week or 2

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Little baby brussels sprouts

The greenhouse is filled with lettuce starts and greens.

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Rainbow chard and collard

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Tomatoes cut from their trellises

And the first crops of tomatoes are finished, the drip lines pulled, trellis lines cut. The stakes will be pulled out soon. Then on to the next crop.


Oh Deer!

This radicchio shows nibbles taken from the center 5 of these 6 heads.

This radicchio shows nibbles taken from the center 5 of these 6 heads.

We’ve been targeted by some lettuce lovin’, high-jumpin’, big-eyed, fast deer. Our farm is really known for its lettuce and we are making many apologies this week due to the losses. It’s especially hard to swallow when we have gone through the trouble of growing the seed in the greenhouse, then transplanting into the field when the plants are big enough. This adds expense in time, but helps keep the lettuce beds relatively clean because the transplants will outgrow the weeds, It also helps grow the number of heads we think we can sell.

The deer are living in the wooded area just over Paul's head in this picture.

The deer are living in the wooded area just over Paul’s head in this picture.

We’re taking measures to prevent the nightly attacks including purchasing materials for a fence for at least the most obvious section of entry, stringing fishing line among the lettuce beds along with the randomly flown “Bounce” dryer sheets (supposed to work… not so sure about efficacy).

Further strategies…diversification, which we are already great at!

Harvesting cucumbers

Harvesting cucumbers

Dill and Cilantro

Dill and Cilantro

 


Summer

Yikes! We’re 3 days into summer and rain is predicted. Possibly more than an inch over the next couple of days. That is a very unusual forecast for this spot on the globe at this time of the year. The impact for the farm and the crops is minimal though the moisture will certainly encourage weeds to germinate all over the place. Formerly clean beds will need attention before the crop is over run with something unwanted.

Paul mows down a summer cover crop on June 13th.

Paul mows down a summer cover crop on June 13th.

This is where the summer cover crop was mowed 2 weeks ago.

Same field today after 10 days “digesting”.

Watermelons are sizing up!

Watermelons are sizing up!

Love the Little Gems

Love the Little Gems

This crop of beans is in our new field and has almost no weeds!

This crop of beans is in our new field and has almost no weeds!

7 beds of carrots are germinating beautifully

7 beds of carrots are germinating beautifully

The carrots we are picking now are delicious

The carrots we are picking now are delicious

Cleaning up the radishes with a wheel hoe.

Cleaning up the radishes with a wheel hoe.

Looks like the seed ran out on this row of radishes. Should be ready in a few weeks.

Looks like the seed ran out on this row of radishes. Should be ready in a few weeks.

Even on a grey day, the bees are busy.

Even on a grey day, the bees are busy.


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