Over twenty years ago it would rain every afternoon in the summer about 2:00PM and cool the day, allowing for late afternoon outdoor activities. Then the sand bottom lakes were full to the brim and rivers flowed swiftly while swamps were amazing eco-systems. With all the climate changes we seem to be returning to a very similar pattern.
On the farm the swamp has returned to just behind the greenhouse and our grounds are saturated, creating puddles here and there. Although we are grateful for all the storms which have cleared the air temporarily and cooled the days, our tomato crops have not fared well with so much moisture. We have harvested our “Celebrity” tomatoes because the rain makes them split. This was a new test variety for our farm in an effort to find a medium sized tomato with better storage capacity than the “Big Beef”. The “Big Beef” is the most disease resistant of all varieties we have tried but experienced heavy damage due to a bacterial wilt which took the plants down within a two week period. In an effort to save the crop we relentlessly trimmed all the affected leaves and let the fruit ripen as much as possible. Growing tomatoes in the swamp is challenging.
Our new garden section is nearly completed with a tall fence to prevent the deer from eating the crops. Last year this area was protected against hogs, and we thought deer as we had an electric fence around it. Planted in cabbages, the deer even ate huge holes out of the middle of 4 lb. cabbages. Argh! (They prefer the red cabbages.) We have already seeded varieties of pumpkins to fill the area. IF we can avoid molds and disease we are dreaming about a fall pumpkin patch complete with live scare crone.
We hope you visit the farm soon for lots of wonderful beans, eggplant and peppers. Bring boots and stroll through our gardens to see how well the crops fare. We even have some lettuce in July so you can create a lettuce tomato sandwich. See you soon!