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from the Field

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August 4, 2019
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

Fall brassicas looking good on a summer evening.
Harvests are particularly abundant right now, and I hope you are enjoying the bounty. Share weight is exceeding the 20 pound mark and you may need some serious muscle carrying the goodies away from the barn and fields. The high yield of some crops is the result of adequate rainfall, ideal soil fertility, and a slight increase in the number of plants grown, which typically follows a growing season with disastrous weather, like we enjoyed in 2018. We tend to overcompensate when yields are disappointing by growing more later, and when we grow more and have almost perfect growing conditions (like this year), crops are happy, thrive, and yield abundantly.
Not that everything has worked out perfectly this season. Peas drastically underperformed and unfortunately the heirloom tomatoes acquired some kind of blight earlier than normal. In contrast the field tomato plants were the healthiest and tallest I've ever seen and now that they're fruiting the yields seem to be following suit. Additionally the 2nd planting of tomatoes inside the hoop tunnel is also thriving and should keep tomatoes on our tables well into September. The first planting of watermelon was lost during excessive rainfall but the 2nd planting has done well and the two cantaloupe plantings appear to have succeeded. Zucchini/summer squash plantings 2 and 3 aren't yielding as expected but cucumbers are rolling in. Overall a balance is achieved.
We're continuing to maintain our no-irrigation-no-problem vigilance as we wait out this current semi-dry spell with faith that it will rain again very soon. We also think that it would be silly to add water to increase yields when we don't need an uptick in yield. That said, we won't risk losing crops to a lack of moisture, but we have confidence in our current weather patterns to bring us ample rainfall frequently enough. Sure seems that way at least, based on this year and last. We also have the added benefit during dry weather that our fields face north, don't drain particularly well to begin with, and have a high amount of organic matter which retains moisture.
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