“These last few days of gentle, soaking rain made the crops very happy. We’re only a week away from the summer solstice, and the fields are filling with green. We have new spinach, lettuce mix, and chard in the share today, along with unusually beautiful head lettuce and late-season asparagus. We should be solidly in fresh greens until well after frost now. Isn’t that a good feeling? The strawberries are just starting to color, and with luck we will have some in the share next week.
Aubrey and her team of vegetable warriors transplanted the winter squash and melons in the rain yesterday; direct-seeded cucumbers are coming along well. No rhubarb this week – the plants just don’t have the oomph to withstand a heavy harvest. They really need to be separated and then heavily fed. In the last week, the potatoes have gone from vague green sprouts to bushy rows.
No sign of Colorado potato beetle yet, but we have our eyes out for them, especially since we did not rotate potatoes to the opposite side of the farm this year, as we did the last two years. I wish potato beetles weren’t so darn destructive, because I like their harlequin costumes. The adult beetles have flashy yellow wings with black stripes, and orange heads splashed with black. The larvae are squishy and bright orange, and the eggs are like teeny tiny orange tic tacs stuck to the bottoms of leaves.
Our first line of defense against them is simply going through the rows early in the morning and knocking beetles and larvae into buckets of soapy water. So far, no need, but we will be vigilant…” Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.
- Essex Farm: The Farm Feels Young (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Horticulture News: Potato beetles and larvae can wreak havoc on your garden (state-journal.com)
- Essex Farm: Peepers (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Monthly Farm Tours (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Farm Tours 2014 (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)