Funny thing happens when you build amazing soil, add a week or so of rain, and have taken a month off of farming. The good news is that I could readily see the reason why inter-row weeding with the wheel hoe is worth it at about 30 days from sowing the seed potatoes – the rows where I did this had very, very few weeds since the vigorous spuds had out-competed them. The rows I missed, well lets just say I needed two hands to pull up the Amaranth, and the Lambsquarter I needed to put my back into play. I had a 80′ row of 5-7′ tall weeds, with some isolated Amaranth specimens the size of mature dogwood bushes. Sorry no pics (forgot the camera)- but trust me, the weeds were impressive.
Though I still have some naggin pain which isn’t seeming to ever fade, I have 90+% back in my shoulder and most of the issues are as much from muscle atrophy as the injury. I worked for 5 hours today, with almost no consideration given to the injury, so how it feels waking up tomorrow will be interesting. All plots are now back in manageable condition – it is amazing how much work can be done in a day, and I definitely owe a debt to the crew of Michael Field’s students that pulled weeds 2 weeks ago in my late potato plot. And yes, I realize how amazing it is to have a crew of organic farming students helping out during my injury!
On the harvest side things are just beginning to trickle in: the first cucumber is in, I got 2 peppers from the Hoop House, and have been getting tomatoes for 2 weeks from the Hoop House as well -though they are splitting very early and have had no edible ones yet since they are rotting by the time they are red. If I can figure that splitting out (they get steady water so it ain’t that), I must say that Silvery Fur is one of the most productive varieties I have ever seen – I have counted 4 dozen tomatoes (mature size about 4-5oz) on just one vine! That is about 20#’s of tomatoes from 3 sq ft!! In about 2 weeks I will have more produce than I know what to do with. My restaurants can take up to 30#s a week, and we plan on canning / freezing a lot this year -August will be NUTS!
From a spud standpoint I am on the last rows of my Yukon Potatoes. With 50#’s planted, I have about 175# harvested, with another 80-120#’s in the ground. Figure just a bit over a 1:5 ratio, but given Yukons rep for low yields and that over half were harvest at baby size (33% mature weight but OHH so good!) I don’t feel to bad about that. Carolas will likely be next and in about a month I will be swimming in spuds and ready to begin deliveries to my commercial clients. Again, August will be nuts and thank the gods that the shoulder seems to be mending. Dear god, I have 1750-2250#’s left to harvest…
Hopefully the market holds at $1.50 to $2 per pound – I plan on building (finally!) my Bio-Diesel production unit ($600), doubling my home’s garden space ($400), buying a freezer ($300), building a root cellar ($500), and thanks to the new tax credit possibly a down payment on putting in a wood stove ($4000) with the proceeds. Al-Queda has poppies, I have potatoes…
Happy Harvest Everyone!
Be the Change.