Riverbend Newsletter July 20

Riverbend Farm Newsletter                                                 July 20, 2013            

Mary and I snuck off for a few days earlier this week. We went Up North and stayed at Micmac Lake.  A friend of ours, Mark, put us on to these hike in cabins at Tettegouche  State Park.  They are about a mile and a half from the road and seem absolutely secluded. The weather was much cooler than it was here and the location was absolutely spectacular. Cabin B is right on the lake.

We left our crew to run the asylum and they did a great job. All the buildings were still standing when we got back and there was an order to be delivered  Friday morning.  Needless to say, it has been a short week for me.  I see that everyone here was busy picking, packing, figuring out how to do deliveries, weeding, watering, trellising tomatoes and pole beans.  There is more I’m sure…

I was planting another round of greens and radishes and realized that we are only about a month away from quitting planting for the year. It seems like summer just got started.  That is also a sign to start planting spinach and beets for fall.

An exciting development is that there have been a few ripe tomatoes. There is a small yellow, Amber, that is ripening some small yellow tomatoes. Some of the Japanese eggplant are sizing up.  There are a bunch of smaller globes and variety types too. A few early peppers are starting to show up too.  I find that I am in a much better mood after finding them.

There has been a problem with the zucchini aborting the small fruit. The most likely cause of that is lack of pollination. Squash are mostly pollinated by bumble bees.  It is a little worrying. I have started hand pollinating some of the zukes to see if it makes any difference.  Pollinating squash is a very straight forward process since the male and female flowers are very different. The males have a straight stem, while the females have a tiny zucchini under the flower.  This morning we got a tenth of an inch of rain so it washed off a lot of the pollen  off the male flowers.  First thing tomorrow we will spend a little time pollinating summer squash.

Today I spent a little time threshing and cleaning kale and turnip seeds.  The process is pretty simple.

The plants are piled on a tarp.

I walk on them to break open the seed pods. 

Remove the big straw and chaff.

Winnow the seeds to remove the light trash. 

Sieve the seeds

and do a final winnow to clean out the last few bits. 

Quite a few people could not see the pictures last time,. So I’m just going to post them on our website www.rbfcsa.com.

On Saturday morning we hosted one of the sites of the Eat Local Farm Tour.  About 15 people found us without direction to the farm being listed in the tour booklet. Several of our CSA members came by. It was nice to put a face with the names of the people whom I had not met before.  There was a lot of interest in what we were doing and how things were going this year.  I even picked a few things to try.

There is a crop mob planned for next week. I reluctant to say what we will be doing since our crew takes a to do list as a challenge, but I think that we will be weeding tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, training the pole beans up onto the strings, and hunting potato bugs.

I’ll know more next week.