Summer farming requires a certain amount of caution; it is very possible to end up with heat stroke trying to work through these long days. I tend to wear a long sleeve cotton button down (old ones can be had for next to nothing at used clothing stores) to keep the sun off my arms. Under my hat I put a wet cloth with ice cubes on top of it. The ice will melt in a slow and steady manner that helps to create a cool, moist microclimate around my head. This helps to beat the heat and keeps me going during the hottest parts of the summer. Hydration is of utmost importance as well, with plenty of breaks to cool down.
The good thing about it getting into triple digits is that it can’t really get much warmer than this, so we’re ready for whatever nature throws at us. The bad thing is that it’s pretty doggone warm out. It’s not hot, because we don’t work when it’s hot, only when it’s “nice and warm”.
As is often the case, the times when the temperature is highest are also the times when there are water issues. This is partially because there is more usage, but also because Murphy’s Law requires that the water system only malfunction when the temperature is extreme. Today was one of those days, with a befuddling lack of water in the tank and a need for heavy watering to happen. Good thing we had a full backup tank.
We pump all of our water with solar power via submersible Grunfos pumps located under a floating dock in the pond. The sun hits the panels, and water flows up to storage tanks at the top of the property, and we gravity feed back down through solar timers to water our crops. When it works, it’s flawless; when it doesn’t it becomes a pain in the…
This time of year there is more water being used, and also more sediment that needs to be cleaned out of the filters to make sure that water flows well through the drip irrigation systems. We’ve been working on getting mulch down to help hold water in and stop it from evaporating. It has been very windy along with the heat, creating an effect similar to a clothes dryer. The hot wind has a desiccating effect that has to be accounted for in the water budget. It’s always a bit of a juggle, trying to keep everything with enough water to thrive.
Summer brings new options, and we’re glad to offer you cabbages and summer squash this week, along with kale, beets and garlic. Lots of tasty options await, some of which you can find in the recipe section this week. As always, we are thrilled to partner with other local farmers to bring you the best possible variety of farm-fresh produce, and we thank you for supporting local farmers and local food security efforts!