Weather-wise, we’ve definitely turned a corner. Days are drier and nights are cooler. This week I was finally able to get the tractor into two of the soggiest beds in the garden; this has to be a record!
The beginning of August is none too soon to be planning for fall harvests and the beds are being prepped for more lettuce, parsley, dill, cilantro, arugula, broccoli raab, salad turnips, radishes, carrots, beets and, what the heck, a fifth planting of spinach. While we wait for this late bounty, tomatoes are ripening in increasing numbers and the kohlrabi is definitely increasing in girth. Red and green cabbages are forming up and the cauliflower is looking very healthy.
The eggplants appear to be thriving after their close call with the potato beetles, but I remain ever vigilant. I have to confess that these little high-maintenance plants have been my pet project since they were seeded back in March-April. The second plantings of cucumbers have already surpassed the first (drowned) transplants in size and foliage so a late summer harvest of cukes seems likely.
I usually have a good fix on what your baskets will contain by this time of the week, however I spent the afternoon picking up an order of live chicks from the Pembroke post office and settling them into their brooder (Sterlite tote) when I’d normally be harvesting. On that note, some of you have expressed an interest in purchasing a pasture-raised meat bird. Please let me know if you are interested since the first batch will be “processed” this coming Monday.
Pasturing chickens is part of the sustainable farm plan. They are housed in bottomless 4x8x2-foot mobile pens that allow them fresh air, sunshine and access to grazing, bugs and dirt, wonderful dirt! They move to a fresh piece of garden or pasture every day where they spend the day seeking out every insect and delicious leaf of clover and then leave behind nitrogen-rich droppings to improve the soil. We started them out on the lawn outside the patio doors where we could keep a close eye on them and the brilliant green strip that followed the chicken tractor out to the field is all the evidence I need!
This is what the garden has offered up so far this week:
Salad Mix (lettuces, chard, beet tops, Asian greens, spinach)
Carrots (1 Rainbow and 1 Paris Market)
Potatoes (As you now know, the truck blew a sidewall on the way downfield to harvest potatoes, so look for them next week!)
Basil or parsley