Rolling into August
I’m learning that one of the most difficult questions to answer as a new farmer is, “How are things going on the farm?” On a small, diverse vegetable farm like ours there are so many things going on at one time that I have found it really difficult to come up with an honest and brief response.
This time of year, there are plenty of days that I wake up and it’s hard to get out of bed. But those days usually end with an incredible sunset on the drive home and a profound feeling of accomplishment after a long and fulfilling work day. I might arrive to the farm one morning and be disappointed in a poorly germinated bed, but later that same day I’ll pull back some row cover revealing a bed of vibrant plants and dozens of glossy purple eggplant ready for harvest much sooner than we had been expecting.
In short, farming is a bit of a rollercoaster. So much of our success depends on a system that is much larger than us, events that are out of our control, and new knowledge we’re putting to use every day. It’s frustrating and exhilarating, it’s exhausting and revitalizing, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Believe it or not, we’re already beginning the planning for next year. Thankfully, this season has already provided us with SO MANY ideas for new crops and things to do in the years ahead. Stay tuned, we can’t wait to share them with you!
Field notes: Weaving ways through the Pepper Patch
Peppers are one of our favorite crops to grow, mostly because they add so much flavor to our cooking, but also because the plants are so pretty. Walking through a well-trellised (this part is crucial) pepper patch to check on the progress of the fruits and watching the lush green leaves flutter in the breeze brings me a lot of peace.
This year we planted four rows of pepper plants in beds a little over 70 feet long. We installed t-posts in line with our pepper plants spaced about 10 feet apart, and with our twine we weave in between each plant, making sure to keep tension without damaging the plant.
We put up another row of twine a few inches higher than the previous one every couple of weeks.
This year, we’re growing a wide range of peppers and we hope you’ll find some of your favorites on our list!
- Carmen (sweet red pepper)
- Escamillo (sweet orange pepper)
- Fish (spicy African American heirloom pepper)
- Challeano (fruity, spicy pepper)