Dear CSA members,
It’s the end of July already and we are relieved to have gotten 2.5” of rain last night. The ground had gotten so hard that we were having difficulty putting in the fence posts when we moved the ducks. After the thorough soaking the ground is soft again and the plants are perking up a bit, but not after showing signs of stress. Cucumbers and squash, which were already close to the end of their productive life, finally dried up, squeaking out only a few not-so-pretty fruits each day. It is always a bit sad when we get to the end of a crop, but it is necessary for us to get to work cleaning up the beds so we can plant cover crop or the next fall crop to go in that space. We do have later plantings of squash and cucumbers, so expect to see them again in September.
We are getting married at the farm in October, so on Saturday we had a crew of 4—my dad, uncle, brother, and brother-in-law—working in the hot sun to build a stage. They did a beautiful job and finished it by lunch time, but were all completely exhausted. I came back from market to find them laying on the floor, drenched in sweat. I must say, it was kind of nice to see other members of my family so sweaty for a change! There’s nothing like a hot day to remind you that working outdoors all the time has its drawbacks. The stage is a great thing to have and hopefully we will use it when we host events out here in the future.
We are working to fortify our fence by running a second wire around the outer perimeter of out 8’ garden fence. We will electrify it to hopefully keep the deer at bay. Cross your fingers that it works for us! The fellows at Southern States in Bedford helped me assess my needs and choose the wire and posts to get. If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend them. Not only do they have a good selection, but they are very friendly and knowledgeable. It is nice to support a cooperative and I am thankful that there still are enough farms in Bedford County that we can get access to the farm supplies we need. I always enjoy chatting with the old guys in there because they have had so much experience with animals, crops, and machines and things that we are learning mostly through trial and error. In the end, usually the way people have been doing it all along works pretty well, and the longer I am farming the more I realize that organic agriculture is really more of an old concept than it is a new one.