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Monday, August 8, 2016

Powisset Farm CSA: Week 10

irrigating fall root crops
Crop conditions continue to be incredibly dry. This week I learned of several farms in the region that have closed for the remainder of the season. In these drought conditions it is impossible to thrive without sufficient irrigation. It's dark times for farmers struck by this drought. Unfortunately the drought is predicted to last into the fall. Because every crop needs water we are unable to leave irrigation on long enough to fully saturate the soil. Plants that are stressed are more susceptible to pest damage. We've witnessed this first hand with the Colorado Potato Beetle wiping out many of our crops in the nightshade family. As well as with the Flea Beetle, turning our brassicas (kale, arugula, leafy mustards, radishes, etc.) to lace. I have never seen the kind of insect devastation I am seeing this year on our farm as well as neighboring farms.
The extra time it is taking for us to set up and move around the irrigation infrastructure, reseed crops, and add extra plantings to our crop plan, is taking us away from other important tasks. We are unable to keep up with field edge mowing, and the raspberry patch needs weeding and mulch spread again. These are issues we are aware of but don't have the time to tend to. I am planning an event for members to join us in our efforts to save the raspberry patch: The Great Powisset Raspberry Rally. The idea is to give community members a chance to chip in and help out the farm during a particularly difficult year. Stay tuned for the official announcement.

blister beetle chewing up the chad
This all sounds very doom and gloom, but there are some highlights: Many of the diseases we worry about this time of year are not present. Basil downy mildew and late blight have been major issues in this region the past few years. They are virtually non-existent this year. Another highlight is the incredible support we have been receiving from you all. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

Upcoming farm events:
Join us for the annual Barn Dinner on Sunday, August 14th. There is no cost to attend this but we do require registration as there is limited space in the barn.

What's new in the farm stand:

Maine Blueberries

What's in your share this week:
Summer squash

Zannah, on behalf of the Farm Crew

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