Farm Update 08-11-22

Over the last couple of weeks quite a few people have asked me if I’ve ever seen the stream (the East Kill) running as low as it was. I had seen it lower, but it was many years ago. However, over the last few days, the stream now appears to have dropped to the lowest level I can recall seeing. As of right now I can still draw water from it for irrigation, but I’m paying close attention to how much I draw at any given time. Relief does appear in sight, as the long-range forecast is currently showing a potentially prolonged period of rains for the middle of next week.

As usual though, work on the farm continues regardless of the weather and conditions. The main challenge now, as it has been every year at this point, is trying to keep the weeds in check. I’m slowly losing ground to them, and it’s made me consider a new strategy for next year – one that will NOT involve the use of hundreds of gallons of herbicide.

In the field, the Tomato plants have quite a few green fruit as of now, so it’s just a matter of them turning. I may be able to pick a few here and there, as I have already been doing with the Tomatoes I’ve grown out in the greenhouse. Something has seriously affected the Cucumbers over the last week, with the worst of the damage affecting the slicing and pickling varieties. I’ll be picking what Sweet Corn of my own that I can for the weekend for Saturday morning, otherwise Locally-Grown Sweet Corn will be available. Flowers, especially Gladiolus, are in abundance right now. Lettuce is between plantings and will be unavailable for at least a couple of weeks. This is due to several factors, including greater than expected demand, the high heat level causing bolting to flower, and the woodchuck incident in the greenhouse earlier in the season. And lastly, I am planning on digging some Potatoes later today.

Despite the heat over the last few weeks, the Laying Chickens are doing their thing. The Broiler Chickens, which right now are still less than 2 weeks old, actually love the warmer conditions. By the way, if you’ve ever wondered what rivals the speed of light, it’s little chickens zooming around their pen. It’s truly incredible how fast they can move when they are this small, versus their lumbering waddle as they get big.

If you’re looking for melons, there will be both Cantaloupe and Watermelon. I was also able to get Black Plums for this weekend, and will of course have the great Pennsylvania Peaches, Local Blueberries, and Canadian Strawberries.

For those curious about my predator/pest interactions they currently include:
Black Bear – 1
Coyote – 3
Red Fox – 2
Woodchuck – 4
Skunk – 1
Raccoon – 1

That’s pretty much all I can think of to include for now. Thanks very much for helping support the farm and for reading these updates. Hope you all have a great week.