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News and Notes
from the Field

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August 12, 2018
Middle of Main
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan

Sun setting over freshly germinated rutabaga.
Harvest weeks 13 and 14 represent the mid-point of our 26-week Main Season CSA and also come at a time of subtle changes in the season, daylight, weed growth, plant health, crop harvests, farm workload, and farmer mental and physical stamina. Seasonally summer is on the downward trend and with it daylight noticeably slowly decreases. Weed pressure begins to slacken as most weed species will germinate less as that magical combination of soil temperature and daylight combine into an unknown sum that is less appealing all of a sudden. Perhaps they know that they probably won't have time to procreate and pass along genes and will simply wait until next year. Traditional summer crops like basil, zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, and field tomatoes begin showing serious symptoms of disease and decline. We have multiple plantings of most of these but even later younger plantings get sick quickly. Tomatoes will be safe in our tunnels through September probably. Harvests will begin to transition away from some of the summer staples as we welcome winter squash, potatoes, and greens again later this month. The pendulum of the farm workload is in full swing in the other direction as we clean up fields and sow them into cover crops to add organic matter, increase soil fertility, consume leftover nutrients, and protect the earth over the fall and winter months. Look for fields of a flowering buckwheat overstory and radish and clover understory. Our farmer brains and bodies get a little more sluggish in August as the past 5 months catch up to us. As September approaches and temperatures moderate we'll be rejuvenated as we push through to the end of the growing season, prepare for fall and winter harvests, and reflect and plan for the next growing season. For now, we accept the highs and lows of this growing season and are thankful that even though we've had extreme weather the harvests have been ample and we've been able to share it all with our food community.
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