July 19, 2012
Quote of the Week:
A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
Weekly Reflection from Norm
PLANT STRESS FROM HEAT AND DROUGHT
Last evening the nine of us had just finished a meal of rice and curry with grilled beans and broccoli. We all sat there silent and sweating, downright tired. The question at hand was whether to ‘open up the house’ yet. The thermometer read 92 outside and 89 inside. The time was 8 o’clock. We were silent because we did not much care, did not think it was a decision that would bear any helpful outcome, silent because we were stressed from heat and drought.
I think you know where I am going with this. Our crops in the field have been feeling the same way for much of the past 4 weeks. I said in an earlier blurb that the ideal moisture for most plants is one inch per week, preferably on a Friday evening. Well, we did not have a speck of precipitation from June 21st – July 14th. These three dry weeks were accompanied by our longest heat stretch in nearly 50 years. Any of you who received our broccoli last week know firsthand what this weather can do to certain crops. Our summer broccoli, cabbage, collards, and cauliflower did not perform. Many other crops like summer squash, cucumbers, and onions were like our crew at the dining room table and are, consequently, a week or two behind schedule. Still other crops like the melons, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes responded better to irrigation and thrived in the heat. We have received rain twice now in the last week and are incredibly grateful for the reprieve.
I write this to you to keep you informed. Weather effects the production of food. Irrigation took 6 hours each day for us and ran day and night, but is no replacement for rain. Plants respond to dry conditions or extreme heat in very different ways. This is why, in a CSA, we plant many diverse crops and varieties in an attempt to have a sufficient supply of excellent produce in your box every week. You will receive 9 crops in your box this week. The quality is first rate, but at the lower level in the quantity department. With many new crops a week or two away, and with a break from the stress, we should be primed for much abundance going forward. We hope you are having a fantastic summer!
Farmer Notes on this week’s delivery:
- Last Fri./Sat. we received over 1” of rain
- Red potatoes with thyme is a great combination
- Make ice cubes with mint or pesto
- Several weeks here with great beets
- Summer squash, cucumbers, and peppers are close at hand
- Drought/heat has its casualties (see main article)
- 70 middle-schoolers visited the farm on Tuesday
- This weekend’s camping is cancelled due to lack of interest
- 2nd member work day opportunity is Fri., July 27th
- Wash all produce before consumption