This summer has been quite busy on the farm. Farmers markets, cultivation, harvesting leave me with little time to breathe. Even tho there is one official month left in summer I know that the time will fly by before I know it, so here is an update while the thoughts are still fresh in my head.
you may wonder what busy means for a farmer, because aren’t we always busy, always have tons of things to do? Yes, and yet we manage to get even busier in the dog days of summer.
My schedule: Tuesday I awake at 4am and pack the van, hit the road at 5am, drive for 2 hours, do deliveries between 7am and 9am, set up for Old Town (Eureka) market and sell from 10am to 1pm, break down market stand, 30 minutes for lunch, head to Arcata and set up stand again for an hour, sell from 330pm to 630pm, break down stand, eat some food, drive 2 hours and hopefully I am in bed by 9pm.
Wednesdays I get a little break, I can sleep in (until 7am) but then I waste the coolest time of the day which is the best time to get some hours in. Field work 7am to 1pm, siesta until 4pm, more field work until 630, dinner, then field work until its too dark or buggy to press on, around 830pm these days.
Thursday/Sunday pretty much the same thing each day, field work from 7am to 1pm, then more work from 4 to 9pm. Usually weeding in the morning and picking tomatoes in the evening.
Monday/Friday are harvest day! The most satisfying day of the week. We pick from 7am to 1pm, pick more tomatoes after lunch, then sort tomatoes and prepare for market and wholesale orders in the evening.
As for my tomato patch, it has been very productive to say the least. The Luther Burbank slicing tomatoes are small plants just loaded with fruit, the only drawback is that there are hardly enough leaves to shade the tons of fruit and sunburn is a major issue. That aside, the taste is superb, the shipping ability is maybe a 3 out of 5, and the color is only Really red when the fruit is almost expired.
The Roma tomatoes are also loaded with fruit, and while leafy enough to keep sunburn away, blossom end rot is affecting about 10-20% of the yield. I probably should aquire a sprayer and apply an OMRI-approved calcium next year to keep the end rot issue to a minimum.
But my favorite has been the Rutgers tomato. Large fruit that can hang on the vine until very red and still be firm, few noticable blemishes on the fruit, great taste. I will definetly be saving seed from these and expanding their space in the field. More to come on tomato seed saving later on.
I think I just exceeded the FCC word limit for a farm-based web log. Catch you next week with a fresh allotment of characters.