News From the Farm | July 8, 2019

Each season’s weather passes forward its imprint on the following season’s crops. Late spring rains are remembered when there are diseases in the peaches during the summer.  A spike of heat in early June can interrupt the pollination in ears of corn resulting in kernel blanks when the corn is harvested.

Sometimes those predictions come true, but not always.  Our stone fruit trees are looking great, contrary to the worries during all the rain we enjoyed last spring.  On the other hand some of our corn does have blanks in the ears, each missing kernel representing one silk strand that wasn’t successfully pollinated.  High heat is a common explanation for blanking in corn.

Our List of Availabilities has stretched to include many of the heavy hitting summer crops.  The first pallet full of heirloom tomatoes was packed and sold and top-of-the-list are 17 kinds of flowers that could be used as a botany quiz… “Describe the Craspedia flower please…”

A walk around the farm is likely to turn up surprises — sometimes a reminder that there is work to do, like when you run into a swamp because of a malfunctioning irrigation drip line. Other times it might be a piece of fruit picked right off the tree that ranks as the best ever, or a small skunk minding its own business along the wild edges of the farm on the banks of Cache Creek.

— Judith Redmond