The talk of the town seems to be the cloudy weather. Many people have asked me over the last few weeks “so is it ruining all your crops?” or similar questions. Answer: Yes and no, Many plants are stressed out, showing disease, lacking nutrients and behind; However many plants are thriving and most of even the affected crops are poised to go on a tear of vegetative growth (tomatoes, peppers, melons, corn). The lettuce has been wonderful and the potatoes are in great shape, and what a great asparagus year, wow!
We are now picking: Strawberries, shell peas, sugar snap peas, hot house tomatoes, baby beets, baby carrots,lettuce (9 varieties), zucchini, summer squash, kale, chard, green onions, scallions, flowers, red new potatoes, Yukon gold new potatoes, baby arugula, garlic scapes, boc choi, basil, parsley, tatsoi, mustards, collards, and so many herbs.
And Whats to come: Cucumbers, Snow peas, Heirloom summer squash, Blueberries, Walla walla sweet onions, Broccoli, Cabbage, Garlic, French Fingerling Potatoes, Green Beans, Corn (best guess is July 18th right now, we need some sun) and lets not forget the delicious Massachusetts peaches from Carlson Orchards (very soon)
What are the farmer’s up to?: Harvest has taken over as the largest part of our field workers day, though planting, weeding and plant care continue. Stella has been having regular 100lb days in the hot house tomatoes, and the cherry tomatoes she picks are peaking. Our tomato crew has trellised the first round of the first and second generations of field tomatoes and third generation should go in this week. Justin and Anna have split up the farmer’s market shifts to help Ethan staff the market booths at both the Wed/Sat market in West Tisbury and the Tuesday Market at Packer’s Wharf in Vineyard haven. Hillary repaired a broken gate in the cow yard that the cows knocked down. Justin moved another batch of chickens out into the movable pastured poultry pens, generation 1 is getting near slaughter. Dan and Simon have been steadily breaking tractors and having to repair them, its a ongoing cycle, machine shop to field and back. Jim has been cultivating corn the last couple of dry days.
We were able to sneak in two quick harvests of hay over the last long period of foul weather, they made it in the barn in passable shape. Strawberries are holding out and seem to be in good shape despite the rain and have had good harvests 6 days a week, (ending say July 12th) Alex has been managing a harvest that grows every day and what seems like an endless amount of orders from restaurants and markets that Cheryl has procured and will deliver twice weekly (today 480 heads of lettuce), you should see Andrew smile when he gets a large lettuce order, he and Hillary went out and harvested it all and were back in the barn washing by 9am. Andrew and Cheryl have begun to pack romaine hearts for sales at Cronigs market and at our store, we will learn if there is really a market for it.
Amy and Micheal are back and have made a home out of the old blueberry house, what a shot in the arm to the field crew they are; two of our hardest and most experienced field hands back for another year of dirty hands and sore backs. The beans carefully planted 5 successive crops inside the new deer fence in Norton field are being (have been) eaten by RABBITS!! you just can win! The kitchens have been making strawberry jam daily and are a little tired of it they report. We have been making a low sugar (near all fruit) Jam that tastes like June itself. Judy and Chloe catered an Island Grown event for IGI this week with all our own produce and meats.
Meg and Dan have had 6 calves from the herd of cattle in Chilmark and expect 6 more. Simon found a patch of early wild ground blueberries ripe out by the new broccoli field this week, a smile and blue teeth. The Greens continue to grow wonderfully, a new crop of baby Arugula is ripe thanks to the care of Daniel T. Last week Emily wheel hoe’d the entire Garlic field (3/4 of an Acre) That’s a big job but good for a woman that row’s crew. The farm stand staff have been so happy to start replacing some of the off-island produce from early season to selling our own. They have created a new register area to add two more lines in the little greenhouse off the side of the store. They report fantasitic sales of our new book, and alot of intrest in the garlic scapes. The stand staff are poised but nervus to tackle another holiday weekend ahead.
Having trouble finding time to Blog with all my spring work, I will be asking a few of our crew to blog about thier jobs/experiences/thoughts over the next few weeks. Thanks for stopping by, simon.