It is hot and dry, which creates adverse conditions for farming. Although these temperatures will not drastically reduce our overall production (it isn’t hot enough for that), the heat does clearly lower transplant survival rates and increase transplant shock (it takes plants longer to recover from transplant and begin growing again). This is why farms south of us stop growing during the summer months, growing what we think of as summer crops in the spring and fall, and what gives Northern California, Oregon, and Washington such agricultural advantages, as their temperatures often stay below 90, although last year was an exception in California. We are stuck in the middle geographically, so we have to grow summer crops in the summer, in between first and last frost dates. It also means lots of irrigation. (These effects are compounded by dry soil.)
The heat is also hard on animals. During the summer, we increase animal watering, provide shade, add a swimming pool to the chicken area, and try to move them more often so that they are not stressed by reduced grass/feed palatability. Right now, we have the sheep down in our lowest field, where it is cooler and there is some shade, and our chickens are in an area with mature oats, so there is plenty to eat.
Hopefully, for all of us, it will rain this afternoon or tomorrow, and temperatures will be lower.
So, onto your bin this week, bins will contain: carrots (in greater quantity as their quality passes quickly in the heat), beets (may be last week, some yellow beets this week), onions, leeks, scallions, garlic (now dry), green cabbage (last week), summer squash and zucchini, green beans (our second succession will be ready Friday…this first succession has just never taken off), cucumbers, potatoes, and choice of herb. Sustaining Members Wednesday will receive tomatoes. There may be enough for everyone by Friday, would think definitely by next week. Peppers and eggplant are about 2 weeks away. Lalo is mowing down the kale as I type. We do that to prevent Harlequin bug infestation, but I also think kale just isn’t very good once it gets hot.
Eggs: The hens are laying less right now. We always see lower laying during the longest days of the summer, but it is mostly because of the heat. We will limit egg purchases to one dozen until laying increases again.
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“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is
our only hope.”