News from the Farm | June 3, 2024

May is a busy month for us. It’s a crucial time for summer preparation, all while we’re in peak spring harvest, so a blur of activity and change. It’s the time of year where things happen fast; seemingly in the blink of an eye, the hills around us changed from green to golden brown and spring crops are either harvested or bolt in the heat before we can get to them. Fruit, like peaches and plums, are sizing up and starting to take on some color.

Here’re some photos and notes to show some of what we’ve been up to the last couple weeks of May:

A lot of transplanting: flowers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, leeks, and more. We’ve cleaned out our greenhouses and closed them up for the year. 

The transplants have been growing fast. Some of the flowers already are blooming, the second tomato planting (shown below, along with the third planting) is being staked, and the first tomato planting has been tied twice.

Setting up drip tape: we irrigate with sprinkler pipes in spring, but switch to drip tape for most crops in summer. For some crops, like tomatoes, the drip tape is buried, but for others, it stays on the surface. This is a big undertaking to set up and our irrigation team has been busy. Seemingly everything needs water and it all needs it now! Their hard work will be put to the test in the heat this week.

Garlic and onions are almost ready to harvest and cure. The garlic is almost dried out and the tops of the onions have flopped over, indicating that they’re also almost ready. This also means it’s garlic braiding time. We only send a few of these beauties to the farmers market each year. You can learn how we make them in Hannah’s new book, or in the most recent edition of Sunset Magazine!

A lot of mowing. When a crop is done, it’s time to move on. Sometimes, the sheep will graze it down while other times, like with these sunflowers, we take care of it with the tractor. What was a field of very picked over and ragged looking sunflowers was quickly chopped down. 

This first week in June, it definitely will feel like summer, with temperatures predicted to be in the mid-100s. However, the solstice is a few weeks away, and while we have a few of the classic summer crops (the first basil, the first zucchini) most crops aren’t ready yet. However we’re close; the corn is starting to form tassels and even some flowers on the peppers. 

For the moment though, we’re in the “shoulder season” between spring and summer, the gap between periods of abundance when it’s too hot for a lot of the spring crops but the summer ones just aren’t there yet and are slowly ramping up. So we may have a little more repetition in our CSA boxes and only small quantities of new and exciting things popping up at the farmers markets. But we’ll be in full summer soon!

Elaine Swiedler, CSA Manager