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Notes from the Field: Week 5

Notes from the Field: Week 5

Notes from the Field: The Field Walk

Summer 2018 Week 5

Happy July! July always marks a turning point in the farm season. In winter we plan and fix; in April we seed and plow; in May we seed and plow and fertilize and plant; in June we seed and plow and fertilize and plant and weed and stake and harvest and it. is. a. LOT. The days in June are long, our energy is high, and we’re still pretty excited about tackling every new task but it is with great relief that I welcome July. The last of our big summer plantings will go in the ground today, nearly emptying our greenhouse. In July we turn our attention from planting to maintaining healthy plants and keeping up with the harvests.

Every Monday I begin the week with a Field Walk. I make eye contact with each of our different crops and see what they need. In June most crops need to be weeded and irrigated, but July maintenance requires a little bit more. In July we continue trellising our tomatoes, adding extra layers of twine as they grow. We begin giving crops a second round of fertilizer to ensure they keep yielding over a long harvest period. I look for plant diseases or pests (ie: cucumber beetles and woodchucks, currently) that might impact our harvest. I see what is available to harvest, and decide what will be in the CSA share. Next, I check our Crop Plan to see what needs to be seeded or transplanted. (We still plant lettuce every week, seed herbs every 3 weeks, beans every 2 weeks, etc.) I look at the fields those plantings are destined for and what we need to do to get the fields ready to plant. I take a look at the week‘s weather and make a plan, trying to fit in everything that needs to be done. There’s never enough time! But I prioritize things that NEED to get done and things that will help us a LOT in the future to get done now.
Check out this week‘s Field Walk notes:

and our Weekly Plan:

Not bad for a 4 day week!

There’s an old proverb that goes “The footsteps of a farmers are [her] best fertilizer.” It’s amazing how easily we get tunnel vision when we’re focused on one part of the farm during the week. My weekly field walk is my scheduled time to walk the fields and devote a little time to every piece of the farm (yes, all the way out to the garlic!). As stressful as it can be when it seems like all the plants need our attention at once, it’s a pretty rewarding way to start the week.

– Elena Colman
Farm Manager