This summer flew by. I feel like we blinked and it was gone! As September arrived we have already started to feel that cool crisp morning air roll into our little valley. Unfortunately though the days still heat up to the 100s and we are just biding time and waiting to start out Fall planting. This summer had it ups and downs. The monsoon started out strong but had disappeared for now. We are crossing our fingers to get one more blast before the season is officially over.
With record heat in June many of our summer plantings became stunted. Things started growing in the beginning of July and we are finally starting to reap the benefits of those crops. We are hanging in there with late summer bugs like grasshoppers, cucumber beetles and carrot beetles (our most hated). Carrot beetles have been annihilating our late summer sunflower crops two years in a row now. So sad to watch 8 ft tall sunflowers crumble after a few days of carrot beetle damage. The burrowing underground and chew the roots of sunflowers.
Ok enough about heat and bugs, onto what’s growing….
Summer squash is hanging in there and we are still harvesting patty pans for market. I love the taste of these squash. They are sweet with hardly any seeds. Great for grilling or roasting with a little balsamic. Yum!
The Okra is having an incredible year. Okra just loves our hot climate and these plants have been heavily producing for us. The flower of the Okra is beautiful. It blooms only once and then the seed pod (which is what we harvest) grows from the flower.
The zinnias are back in action and so are the butterflies. They took a little longer this year with the June heat but they made a comeback. One of my favorite past times is sitting in the rows and just watching the different butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, praying mantises and sphinx moths.
We had an epic sphinx moth catipillar migration for the past few weeks. Thousands of big fat catipillars were passing through. They hang out on the amaranth and purslane gorging themselves and then burrow underground to pupate into a white lined sphinx moth! Thank god they like native foods because we would of been demolished if they ate our crops.
Last but not least the basil is chugging along. The rows are being attacked but grasshoppers but we are still able harvest a good amount for market.
We had some time between mainting summer crops and fall planting to resume work on the barn. We painted it a beautiful red color and we are working on finishing up the odds and ends. Then onto the walk-in cooler! We are definetely going to need the space with all we are planting for fall.
Of course we haven’t forgotten about Mushrooms! We prepped the shroom area and are starting the first logs of the season this week. By the end of September we should have some oyster mushrooms at the market.
The next few weeks brings lots of fall planting. We are preparing beds now for arugula, beets, turnips, radishes, chard, collards and carrots. We are coming into the bulk of our busy season, the summer siesta days will be over soon!
Thanks for checking in, see y’all at the market!
-Nicole, Andrew & Willy (can I have his job?)