News From the Farm | June 15, 2020

I had an opportunity to walk around the farm this morning just to take in the early summer crops and enjoy the mildness of the morning weather.  What made the walk really engaging was the patchwork of constantly changing crops and fields.  Here were some young eggplant — and there were some older ones.  Here were beds of melons, sunflowers, beans, corn and summer squash, next to an irrigated pasture soon to be home for chickens and cows.

There are still a lot of fields on the farm that are open, or ready to be “turned over.” Cool weather crops are almost done and summer crops are starting.  In June you can make French onion soup, potato latkes, roasted garlic and maybe throw in a few leftover loose beets or cabbages. The CSA boxes and farmers markets aren’t busting out at their seams like they will be when the tomatoes, melons and eggplant arrive on the scene… when there is so much production that you can’t even get it all out of the field and into the packing shed (let alone fit it on a market truck!)  Besides all the fields full of young summer crops, there are also fields where spring carrots, lettuce and broccoli were, that haven’t been prepared for the next crop.  Fields that are resting for a short while.  

The peppers have been mulched with straw!

Our summer peppers have been mulched with straw — that’s a first, one of many experiments to be seen on a walking tour.  We also have a field of melons that were planted into beds of live cover crop.  We opened a line down the center of each bed for the melons, and continue to make room by cutting back the cover crop as the melons grow.  Make a wish for some tasty melons!

Experimental field with minimum till melons.

Walks are always good for clearing out the cobwebs in your mind.  Something that I have reflected on during the pandemic is the way that the new circumstances have impacted people around the world in unequal ways.  For some there is the shuttering of businesses that represent their life’s work, while for others there has been the opportunity to reinvent work from home.  For some, the pandemic has resulted in devastating unemployment while for others their quarantine has provided a moment of calm as their level of activity is reduced.  Here at the farm, we wonder what can be done about the farmworker families with kids home from the schools, who either can’t work as a result, or who leave their kids home alone and worry all day about them.  Finally, there are some that experience near-death from the virus, or who mourn those they have lost, while others shun face masks that could protect their community from infection.

At Full Belly, we’ve been going pretty much non-stop since the Shelter in Place, doing our best to reduce any risk of infection for our employees and customers.  We appreciate all of you who are on this journey with us — Thank you!

—Judith Redmond

Corn starting to silk