Posted by: A Part of the Solution | July 23, 2010

Momentum in the Garden

At last the drought has broken (at least for the present). We’ve had about three inches of rain in the last couple of weeks. If that rate holds steady-ish, the farm is going to be overtaken by the garden produce. Finally, we are achieving momentum. And what does ‘momentum’ mean in concrete terms?

Well, it means that we have about eight zucchini plants and each is producing multiple fruits and they are growing at the rate of several inches daily. No, really. And the yellow summer squash is just going into its crouch to produce at the same volume and rate of speed as the zucchini plants. And the scallopini squash are beginning to show fruit the size of roomy flying saucers–with more moving past flower and into fruit form every day. The cucumbers and melons are slower to hit the productive mark, but when they do I fully expect them to show the same vigor as their first cousins in the Curcurbita family.

We have between two hundred ten and two hundred thirty healthy tomato plants right now. The general blight problem affecting tomato plants up here hasn’t touched ours, since we grew every plant from seed right here on the farm. Everytime the overnight temperature hits 59° or below, they set another round of flowers. Every one of those tomato plants has at least four tiers of fruit, and massive blossoming at the top. Not this week, but the week after and the month after that will be tomato time om my farm. There will be Peacevine, Yellow Perfection, and Black Cherry tomatoes. There will be Cherokee Purples, Green Zebras, Copias, Crimson Sprinters and Rose de Berne tomatoes. And those are just the ones I’m certain of. If there’s fewer than one ton of ripening tomatoes on our plants this second, I’ll eat my barn boots right here.

Succession plantings of beets and carrots are coming along now that the drought has been alleviated. With the extra pairs of hands gained from our WWOOFers, we’ve been able to hill up the succession potatoes–guaranteeing at least a doubled yield in our second round of potato harvest.

Our basil, due to lavish watering, weeding, weed whacking and obsessive topping to prevent bolting, is producing in excess of eight pounds of basil every ten days. And now the cilantro (a cut-and-come again proposition) is ready for its first hair cut. The Italian flat leaf parsley is steadily growing and will be ready to send out in a couple of weeks.

Over in the brassicas, we have some purple headed broccoli moving forward at an accelerated rate. The cabbages are adding mass on a daily basis. The romanesco are not far behind the broccoli. The flea beetles are in remission across the genus, as the plants are less vulnerable with regular rain.

The eggplants, thyme and celery never germinated properly. We may try to reseed the thyme, which can winter over with a little care. But it’s too late for eggplant this year.

It’s good to see, at long last, how our garden grows!

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