Thursday, June 23, 2011

David Goforth's Tomatoes and the Lag Phase

This week, we are pleased to announce that our first vendor has supplied us with some lovely and delicious tomatoes! They are grown in Cabarrus County under a high tunnel. No hail damage there! Stop by the farm store (Mon-Fri 11-6pm) to pick some up.

This week, we have:
Tomatoes: $2/lbs
Onions: $2/lbs
Swiss Chard (picked on demand): $2.50/lbs
Beets (picked on demand): $4.00/ bundle
Squash: $2.50/lbs
Zucchini: $2.00/lbs
Costata Romanesca: $3.00/lbs
Basil: $3.00/bundle
Parsley: $2.00/bundle

This week's work in the garden has been minimal: Just weeding, putting out our last batch of okra, and putting out some mulch. We're still shopping for a plow and a disk harrow so we can prepare the field for our pumpkins. I hope to get that done by Friday because it's getting quite late for planting the pumpkins. 

We're entering the lag phase of the summer- the time of the season where we can relax a bit and enjoy the fact that all our plants are in the ground. Our days are filled with a little pest control and picking our vegetables. The vineyard, too, has entered a lag phase. The berries have reached their ultimate size and are preparing for veraison. The shoots have stopped growing as fast as they were before, which makes maintenance much much easier. The Japanese beetles are here, but as of yet, they have not done significant damage. I hope to put some more kaolin clay on them tomorrow if the rain will hold out. The black rot berries are beginning the harden so that in two weeks or so, we can go along and shake them off, leaving extra room for the good berries to develop. Next week, we'll probably go along and tip some of the shoots on the vines that we haven't already tipped. This is like hedging for those of you familiar with the Vertical Shoot Positioning system. Since our vines grow upside down, we have to bend over and clip the shoots by hand about 5 inches off the ground.

We're also starting to talk seriously about bird control. We're looking for examples of successful bird netting on the Geneva Double Curtain trellis, but have yet to find one. Mom and Dad have several ideas, and when we decide on one, I'll post pictures so those grapegrowers of you out there don't have to go through the experimenting stage again. 

It's summer time- the living isn't easy yet, but it most certainly is getting there!

Kaolin Clay (Surround) covered Vidal Blanc vine

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