What’s growing on 6-16-2023
Now that we’ve hit the halfway point in June, it feels like summer is really here! Summer brings up the thought of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and so much more fresh stuff from the gardens. But, 2023 has been challenging growers across the Midwest with wacky weather.
To try getting early crops, many plants were started indoors and set out early. Then many nights fingers were crossed as temperatures dropped, then rose beyond normal, then tornadoes and torrential rains came. Those early plants had several stressors that delayed their growth. Add in a serious drought for the past 6 weeks, and plants are growing, but not quite thriving.
What does this mean?
Daily watering has become normal, and it helps keep the greens cool (along with shade cloth) and plants growing, but there’s nothing like real rain falling from the sky. Rain soaks all of the ground, rinses the plants, brings some minerals from the air, and quenches the deep thirst of many plants. The 12 foot row of early peas is producing, but they don’t have the abundance that we are used to getting. They are slowly starting to set more flowers, but temperatures in 90 degree range are not their preference. The peas that were directly seeded are flowering and setting peas, but again, they don’t seem to be as abundant.
We are all excited to have as much fresh stuff as we can get, but the reality is that quantities remain lower and a look to be a bit sporadic as plants grow without rain. Crops like the peas, zucchini, yellow squash, and broccoli are just starting to give crops, and they will continue but not at high rates for the short term. Usually, picking for farmstand on a schedule helps to get the plants working to ripen fruits more regularly, but sporadic picking like we’re doing now just keeps them coming a few here and a few there. So, please be patient. I know how much you all want fresh stuff, and it’s coming, but I won’t probably be shouting that there’s an over abundance of anything for a while.
What can we do?
If you are the praying type, please pray for our region to see some rain. Truly, all of North America needs rain. Canada needs those fires put out, and the US needs it for growers and to knock down some of the smoke hanging in the air. At this point, any and all suggestions for getting rain are welcome. Hang your clothes on the line and leave home, wash your car, paint your porch, set out herb drying racks or whatever it is that seems to bring rain.
Baking and Jam Making
I’m trying to fit in time to make more jams and keep some baked goods coming to the farmstand, so if there’s something in particular that you’d like to see – let me know! Balancing garden maintenance (weeds still grow in a drought), watering, amending, and trying to get the flowerbeds back under control have taken quite a bit of time, but with berries starting to show signs of ripening, it’s time to get the last of 2022’s fruits out of the freezer and made into something yummy. There are 10 jars of fresh Strawberry Rhubarb Jam from this week, and cherries were picked/pitted/frozen over the last week, too!
I appreciate all of you reading along, stopping at the stand, and making arrangements for pick-up during the week when crops have been ready. Your support means so much!!
Well, I’d better go back out and see what else I can pick for tomorrow’s farmstand. Another post will follow with details…