Friday, August 20, 2010

After the rain

Yesterday we had quite a bit of rain. So much rain that some of our newly prepared beds washed away. We went back today and covered up some of our seedlings (swiss chard and collards), so hopefully we'll save some of those. We stood up all our tomatoes, which had fallen over. We will definitely try a new way to stake them next year. A lot of the tomatoes had split, but these shall not go to waste- it's always good to have a reason to freeze them for the spaghetti sauce in the winter.
Our pumpkins are looking good and so are the squash.
Our vines are also loving the much needed rain. After we harvested, I had to irrigate twice (very unusual this time of year). We continue to cut out Pierce's Disease and I saw my first Leaf Roll virus of the year this week as well. The leaves of one vine had turned completely bright red. We'll cut that out soon. We're going to try to put in another bed tomorrow, spread more compost, keep weed eating. I'm sure Mike and Chad will be sick of weed eating by the end of the season.
We can't get ourselves down because of the weather's minor set-backs, but we must see the progress we've made in reinvigorating this farm in just two months. The progress is truly immense.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ok- this is the real post this time!!

Today was a fairly boring day on the farm and in the vineyard. Due to the rain yesterday, our Moldovan workers took the day off. We spread compost in a new bedding area which will be planted on Monday with leafy vegetables. We are also working on spreading the 100 cubic yards of compost across our largest 200 ft bed. We're doing our best to farm without a tractor, but it's tough.

The vineyard is looking good due to the intensive hoeing of the Moldovans. We are getting ready to repair the plastic and we may or may not put down new plastic next year. Our plan is to eventually let the weeds grow up to the side of the vines and let them compete for water and nutrients. Our vines right now are growing so fast that we are having to intentionally slow them down. We shouldn't be harvesting grapes this year, but we left some on so that the vines could concentrate on producing fruit as well as leaves. This has been a great success. We will be harvesting our first grapes very soon. These grapes are very unbalanced and they have not ripened evenly, however judging by our crop this year, next year should be a great hit.

The birds have eaten a large majority of the grapes (and the little eyeballs and streamers do not work. neither do the fake owls). I can't wait until after harvest when my father and I can sit down and talk about getting a netting system. But this year, bird damage is fine, since we can't sell wine anyways!

The diseases haven't been too bad this season. Our grapes have been fairly dry and we have sprayed wisely. Next year a dose of lime sulfur before budbreak will be crucial. Otherwise, a little disease here and there has not hurt the quality of the majority of the grapes.

I hope this has helped explain what we're doing out there. Contact me if you're interested in buying vegetables. Tomatoes and Squash are up right now!

So many people have asked if I had a blog

And since I didn't have one, I thought I'd indulge them and start one!