This week it's almost the solstice. Summer is just around the corner, hot days, short nights, and full season crops await us. I'm happy this week to report that the farm is doing ok. We've managed to get a lot of crops in the ground, do some weeding, and harvest twice a week and go to market twice a week. The peppers are the latest thing we did a serious planting of. They look really good, most are flowering, and I caught one with a tiny fruit on it. People ask if we grow fruit. I forget that we do... we grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, and even a few melons. All of those crops flower first, and either are self-pollinators and make fruit, or need the help of insects to pollinate the flowers and form real fruit. All of those crops take a long time to come, but they're just around the corner. The Maine season is so short, that before I know it, we'll be harvesting squash and glad that we transplanted all of those onions in late May.
It's hard for me to have lots of projects in my head at one time. But I think we have only a few major plantings left, and then I can focus on the weeds on our farm. Potatoes are left, and then cabbages for the fall, and carrots and beets for the fall, etc.
I went to a concert last Sunday, it was fun, and chatted for a while with someone who had some farming in his past. Someone asked him where he kept his weeding tractor or tool, and he just held up his hands, waiving his fingers. I was thinking about that a lot this week. Weed management is a huge component to good organic farming practice. Without chemicals to spray for weeds and for pests, you're left using other tools that may be at your disposal. some people use tractors, others hand tools like a rake or hoe, and some of us just crawl around on all fours through the beds, pulling out each weed we see. Luckily, my vision isn't all that good, I'm rather near-sighted, and can't see all of the weeds off in the distance.
But as I mentioned before, the solstice is in a few days, and after that, the crops will fill out more, blocking sun from the weeds, and they will hopefully be more manageable. And as Pete's friend Jeff would say, what we're here to do is to grow vegetables, not to eradicate all the weeds on this farm. I hope any of you reading this remember that bit of wisdom as you're weeding your garden or farm. Have a good week.