Sunday, June 24, 2012

Carrots and Beets

We're thinking this year could go down in memory as the year of the carrots and beets.  The beets have been finished for a few weeks besides the crate in the cooler we've been meaning to put up.....but the carrots....the carrots!!!! They have been so bountiful.   We planted more than we ever have this year, please don't ask me why.  I'll tell you though.  When I see a good bed with amazing tilth that didn't have bad weeds in the previous crop, first I think of flowers and if Stuart has cut me off then I think of carrots.  (but enough is enough Alice!!!  You have a baby to take care of!!!)  We've been taking 200-300 bunches to market the past 6 weeks and we have a couple more weeks to go as long as they don't start rotting in this serious heat we've been having.  Carrots are one of my favorite crops as they require a little more attention to detail than some of the other veggies and their flavor is an immediate sensory reflection of the soil they grow in (which makes sense as they are nestled in cheek to cheek with the soil).  Healthy tops, crispy, bright orange, and sweet is the goal.  Check!!!  As for the beets, until a couple years ago we were unable to grow a good looking beet.  We now realize anything is possible! 
In other news from the farm, we're looking forward to melons and corn.  There is a deep hum of bees on the corn tassels; there must be thousands of them on the pollen laden anthers.  What a beautiful sound.  The bee party of the year.  And Ruth is going to LOVE some melons.  Our maters are looking pretty good.  A solid fruit set but early blight has kicked in strong on the first planting so they need to go ahead and turn already.  A mockingbird has artfully assembled a lovely nest in the yellow pear cherry tomatoes.  And speaking of cherry tomatoes we're about to have more than we know what to do with.  Let's hope the customers can't get enough!!!  
We have some lisianthus just now starting to bloom in the hoophouse.  I've always done it in the field but this year wanted it a little sooner.  This flower makes me realize I'm a masochist at heart.  Yes, I start this baby from seed, why, I'm not even sure.  Every year I tell Stuart I'm going to buy plugs and every year I'm back with a magnifying glass sowing them and pampering them through all their very slow growing phases.  We have a white (!) and yellow this year which should both do well in the house.  Our new field is tilled and ready for cover crop seed.  We're a little late on this but better late than never right?  Let's just hope we don't get a downpour before the seed is sown.  My brother Aubrey has been a champ and has tilled the field twice.  It takes him all day and it's been in the nineties here.  THANK YOU BROTHER.  And we are loving our girl Ruth.  She and her father get into lots of philosophical discussions about the nature of grouchy ladybugs, diapers, and zerberts.  Very serious around here you know.  Hope all of you are well, my secret friends.  I've been missing ya.  Patience please as I try to get this damn format right.  Drives me mad.  One day it'll be straight.