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Monday, July 16, 2012

2012 peas at powisset!

Taking Down the Peas

Today on the farm our Monday team, led by Jen, took down the pea trellis in our pick-your-own field.  To me, this act signifies the real start of summer!  Ok, that action, paired with the fact that it’s been in the 90s for so many days!  Peas are the first crop that we sow into the ground in March, when the fields are empty of crops and weeds and people!  It’s always a hopeful act—a way of saying, we are doing this again!  As those first peas flow out of the push seeder and are tucked into cool spring soil, I am in still warming up to the idea of taking on another growing season.  By the time we are taking the pea trellis down, we are at the beginning of our seventh week of our CSA distribution, picking the first few ripe tomatoes of the season, irrigating melons, and already planting crops for our winter CSA. 

A farm season moves quickly.  One moment there are blank fields and visions of a simple farm plan.  The next moment there are heads of broccoli to be harvested, weeds to pull, and every inch of the farm is filled with rows of crops, often no where near where we wanted to plant them.

Taking down the pea trellis brings with it one additional treat!  We now get to mow down the weeds that were clinging and climbing on those peas!  Just like plowing in the spring, mowing in the summer is one of the greatest gifts to a farmer.  To get to clean a patch of weeds by mowing instead of pulling—that is a true delight!

It’s on to picking beans and cherry tomatoes—adios peas! Until next year, when we do it again!

See you out in the fields,

Meryl (on behalf of the Powisset Farm Crew)

What's in the share this week:

Up in the barn: lettuce, cukes, squash/zucchini, carrots, beets, leeks or onions, potatoes, basil, 
tatsoi or mizuna,

Pick-yer-own: green and yello beans, chard


 Late Blight at Powisset

A few years ago at Powisset Farm, we had a season without tomatoes.  That was 2009, when our farm and most around us were hit with “Late Blight,” a disease that causes problems for potatoes and tomatoes.  Under wet conditions, this disease can swiftly take down entire crops of tomatoes, and render potatoes un-fit for long-term storage.  We have seen some indications of late blight in our tomato fields this season and have begun to spray a copper fungicide on our tomatoes, as a way to suppress the late blight spore from rapidly taking over our entire field of night shades.  You may be able to see the blue hue on our tomatoes; that is the copper residue you are seeing. 

We will continue to spray once per week until the picking begins, in order to avoid loosing our entire tomato crop, as we did in 2009.  We are fortunate that we have the tools, and know a bit more about this disease than we did in the past.  Spraying copper fungicide, currently an organically approved fungicide, is the only tool that we have to help prevent the spread of late blight---so we will continue to do so.

We will post a sign at the greenhouse, letting you know when we sprayed—so that you are aware of what is going on in the fields.  Please feel free to talk to any of us about late blight or the copper applications.  If you have late blight in your garden, please take precautions and throw away those plants and change your shoes before visiting the farm.

To read more about late blight, please visit:

go tomatoes!

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