View from the stand

View of the field mid-July: north end

It’s mid-July, and on a (recently rare) sunshiney afternoon, things are looking OK. Better from a distance than up close, because a few sections, like the summer and winter squash, are quite severely in the weeds and in need of intensive hand pulling. And the ground remains almost constantly wet. Our moisture-retaining clay-loam soil, such an advantage in the usual near drought conditions we’ve had over the last three years, is now a bit of a hindrance. Sprawled tomatoes are particularly at risk if they don’t dry out against damp ground, and instead contract early blight (more about that another time!). Still, carpe diem, huh—seize the day! From atop the farm stand, the view is fine! We have the north end (above), with carrots under burlap (third planting), brassicas (newer transplants still under row cover), the cover in the far middle over squash, in front and more to the right, tomatoes, with a windbreak of giant sunflowers at the very right, and sweet potato bottom center. Open sections will include brassica transplants in a couple of weeks, and a fall cover crop. Out of sight to the north are onions…

View of the field mid-July: middle

In the middle, clockwise from the left, there’s a second planting of carrots, fifth mesclun right in the corner (with Maria weeding on the Greens Machine), garlic and parsnips, and potatoes in the distance (with more big WEEDS), the first planting of beets, carrots and green onions, and the edge of the third carrots under burlap from the first photo.

View of the field mid-July: middle south

And then, the south end of the field, going left from the peak of the greenhouse, the garlic and Maia in the mesclun, the second planting of carrots and beets (that slash of of red is Bull’s Blood beets), the fourth mesclun , a weedy area with nasturtiums and tomatillos, and to the bottom left, herbs and flowers (fairly towering Jerusalem artichoke at the bottom left). (Guest photos by Lynn)

8 thoughts on “View from the stand”

  1. Gosh! I have a tiny plot at the end of my garden and I’m finding it hard to keep up with all the picking that I have to do at this time of year. How on earth do you manage with a  plot that size?

  2. Tell us more about the Green Machine… I read the previous post, but how is it holding up? Can you show it in action, preferably with Maria on it?

  3. we are also trying to grow vegetables on heavier clay/loam soil. I normally like this type of soil but in a wet year there can be disappointments….
    we have lost some plantings of snap beans to drowning.(just when they are ready to pick)
    the coloured carrots are rotten when pulled up.
    your pictures look good . the blog is helpful to many,

  4. Matron: How do I manage? This year, that’s a really good question! As I mentioned in the post, In a few sections, I have my worst weed (pigweed) problems ever. It’s easy to say, well, they should’ve been weeded earlier, but we’ve been busy, rained out quite a bit, and time just flies. I have a fair bit of help this year, but with weird weather, it can still be a puzzle!

    Nat West: The greens machine is doing OK. It’s used this year exclusively for mesclun in 3′ beds. Some people like it, others prefer the classic straddling bed approach. this design, with fat wheels and no holder for a harvest bin, is still the test prototype. The plans we roughly followed call for narrower with a bit greater diameter, and a hard tractor-type seat, so all of that would make a difference. This one is rough and ready, definitely more comfortable than bending over for an hour or two at a time. So far, it’s cool!

    cathy: I’ve gotta catch up on the blog. Our heavy soil and the rain does suck. It favors pigweed popping up after every cultivation when new seed is stirred up. We lost the first bean planting from mid May, partly to a cold snap around the end of May, and a lot due to rotting, so our first beans, from a replacement seeding, are only being picked this week. And then we had five minutes of pounding hale last Saturday, only pea-sized, but it was enough to destroy at least 50% of the toms that’d started sizing up, also damaged a lot of the forming fruit on peppers, eggplant, summer squash,  shredded leaves on different crops, snapped stems on beans and toms. Some of the garlic is kinda waterlogged, not rotten and lost, but not pretty. And the constantly wet ground has gotten in the way of timely seeding for succession planted stuff. Yikes! This could end up being the worst season for weather problems ever… Although it’s hard to see at a distance! :)

  5. Nice blog—i can relate to the weed problem. we planted watermelon in a raised bed—but didn’t put down weed cloth or plastic. You can’t tell where the melons start and where the weeds end—never again will i plant without weed cloth. Please take a look at these sites when you get some free time—we have an acre of property in the california desert. I have dedicated a garden to my sister.  and http:www.mysisterdalesgarden.blogspot .com      

  6. this doesn’t even look like the same field! it’s amazing how much things have changed in the past couple of weeks since these photos were taken. are we permanently stuck on july 15th? it was a good day, don’t get me wrong: leisure lunches and blue (very very unorganic) slush puppies…but what i want to know is “how did the garden grow on july 16th?”
    i can’t sleep – the suspense is killing me!
    did my dear tiny farm fall apart when i left? are you all frozen in time till i return? oh shame! carry on…you must carry on!
    i’ll be back (as will the glorious return of rae-days) on tuesday…get ready to…take it easy:)


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