June 17th

Riverbend Farm Newsletter                                     June 16, 2013                      

 The weather has been beautiful. This is why people live here. It has rained a little and the mosquitos were fierce, but it has been warm, not hot, the sky has cleared out, there is a little breeze.  We are sleeping with the windows open. Beautiful.

 We are finally making the transition from planting to harvesting and started offering produce for sale this week. It has been a long time coming, we are 3-4 weeks behind ‘normal’. Covering the arugula seems to have prevented the spread of the bacterial spot and the row cover has kept the greens and radishes a little warmer, letting them grow faster than the uncovered plantings.

 The warm weather has also turned the tomato plants from yellow to green. They look good. Zukes and cukes are still on hold, but they will start to flower and suddenly there will be lots of them.  And then there will be peppers and eggplant and tomatoes…

 This week Nate and Sam put up a 10’ fence around the lettuce to keep the deer from eating it. Andrew and Jacob have been cultivating everything. The little weeds are enjoying the warm weather too.  Jordan has been getting close to getting stuck.

 More of the field has dried out so we can get in and plow under the rye and vetch cover crop. Some parts of the field are still too soft to work. To get as much done as possible we go until we just about get stuck. The idea is to stop as soon as the tractor looses traction. Unhook the implement and drive away from it. Once you get to solid ground run a chain back to the plow or the disk, and pull it out. Rehitch, and keep going.  If you don’t do that the rear tires will dig down and the tractor will be resting on the drawbar in 15-20 seconds.

 Elissa and Noelle planted pole beans and an eggplant trap crop for potato bugs. Everyone has been hoeing out masses of little weeds.

 The H is down. It won’t start. I have been through the entire ignition system, it has good spark and still no luck. I have since moved on to the carb and we’ll see if that helps. Usually starting difficulties are ignition related.

 We snuck away for our 31st wedding anniversary this weekend.  We went to our favorite French restaurant in St. Paul, Meritage and stayed at the Covington Inn. The Covington is a B&B on the river. It is tied up at Harriet Island, just across from downtown St. Paul. It was surprisingly quiet and scenic.

 On the way into town we drove through a torrential downpour. It was like driving into a fire hose. There was standing water on the highway and water was coming out of the manhole covers in Minneapolis. Weather observers reported 2” of rain just north of 394, between 169 and 100. I believe it. Here at the farm, there were six drops in the rain gauge.  This afternoon we got 0.1” bringing our total for the week to 0.8”, just about the perfect amount.

 While we were gone, Mary Jane and Michael took Allie. They are the people who took her and the puppies in after they were rescued. Allie did really well. Michael said that if someone  stopped by their house, they would not know that they didn’t have three dogs. It was really nice that they were willing to take her in again. Noelle, kept an eye on things around here while we were gone.

 CSA starts this week.  

 That’s it,  got to get the week started