This past week we were grateful to have off from CSA deliveries. The 4th always marks a turning point in the year. It officially feels like spring is over. The part of the garden that provided all those greens for your first share looked tired and worn out with just some weeds left after the harvesting. All the summer crops that have been growing since May are looking great and the greenhouse is full of seedlings for the fall. Even though we were just 5 deliveries in, we have been 'working our butts off' both literally and figuratively since March. Many crops take a months of management before you see them in your shares. Having the week off from deliveries allowed us to catch up on some of the weeding that was getting away from us. Our soil is so fertile from all the compost we have applied over the years that weeds grow 2-3 feet in the course of 2 weeks...so its a lot to keep up with.
We were challenged this week by the epic heat and humidity. The dirt, plants and sun can easily irritate your skin and make you break out and itch, so we usually have to stay fully clothed even when it is really hot. This is the gritty side of organic farming that bucolic imaginations often overlook. When it gets above 90 we usually have to stop working mid-day and work later into the evening hours to make up for it. It makes for long days, but its a better alternative than heat exhaustion. The hoophouse becomes almost unbearable when it gets this hot since it is always 10-15 degrees hotter in there. We're going to try putting some shade cloth over the tomato side this week because the cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen and we will be picking them by the middle of next week. Like all things, the heat will pass and by fall we'll find some other aspect of the weather to complain about!..its part of being a human in Wisconsin. In between the heat, humidity and deer flies we did make it to the beach and to see some fireworks with family.
The week off means that we have an abundance of food coming your way this week...
I went out after dark with a head lamp to turn off the well that irrigates our crops and was surprised to find this salamander.
Jeff Schreiber has been farming organically for 10 years. In 2011 he started Three Sisters Community Farm with his wife, Kelly.