Week 8 – Pekarek’s Produce Weekly Vegetable Subscription

Hello Folks,

Hooray!  It rained this morning.  It was only about 0.30 inches, but it was a nice rain and we have a chance to get a little bit more.  What a great gift, especially near the end of July.

We’ve also had some cooler weather this week.  Seeing temps in the 80s has been wonderful.  Monday and Tuesday have been big transplanting days for us.  The plants were getting big in the greenhouse and when they get too big, they become hard to transplant.  So early last week, all of the plants were pulled out of the greenhouse and put on hay racks.  We parked them in the shade and have been watering them during this last hot week, trying to get them ready for the heat.

July Watering

Sometimes, we crawl on our hands and knees to put plants in the ground.  Whenever possible though, we try to use a machine to plant .  The machine we used Monday has a driver, two people riding on the machine and one person walking behind.  The main goal of the driver is to go straight, which is harder than it sounds.  The two people riding the machine are pulling plants out of the trays on the shelves in front of them and then dropping them into a holder.  The machine then creates a hole in the ground, drops the plant, and covers them up.

When the machine is working well, the person walking behind should just have a leisurely stroll.  Sometimes it doesn’t work well due to soil issues, compaction, moisture, or because someone made it mad.  When that happens, the person behind, makes sure all of the new transplants get planted correctly.  After everything is in the ground, we hook up the drip irrigation and give everything a good watering.

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie and Crew

What’s in this week’s bag?

  • Sweet Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Yellow Squash
  • Zucchini*
  • Broccoli*
  • Beans
  • Kohlrabi

*Full share only

 

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2017 Week 7 – Weekly Vegetable Subscription

Hello folks!

I don’t know about you folks, but we are feeling hot – hot – hot! With temperatures staying in the upper 90s this week, we’ve once again changed our transplanting plans.  Although we intended to transplant first thing Monday, we’ve decided these little plants have a better chance of survival if we wait til next week when temperatures cool off a bit.

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While the heat is hard on people, it’s good for a few of the crops. We are anxiously watching the crops as eggplant and peppers begin to come on.  There’s a few to harvest now, but when there are hundreds of plants, we would be excited to see more.  The cantaloupe are also starting to perk up, but we don’t expect those to come on for a couple weeks yet.   

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2017 Pepper Harvest – This is what we want pepper harvest to look like!  Right now we only get a couple peppers 😦

 

The crew has dwindled  a bit this week. We’ve currently got two crew members out of commission with (non-farm related) injuries.  But happily, we have one crew member who will be playing a state baseball championship tonight!

One of the benefits of having high tunnels (greenhouses without the heater) is that we are able to provide some protection for crops against the elements.  They are great for hail protection, wind protection, even protection for heavy rains.  They are also excellent at keeping temperatures warmer in the cool months by a few degrees. 

But when it’s hot out, we have to take a different approach.  Each of our five high tunnels, and the greenhouse are covered in shade cloth.  What we put up, is like a black fabric mesh that you put over the plastic to literally shade the plants.  In past years we’ve waited until mid-July to put it on, but we got it done early this year.  This week served as a check to see how its working– and it’s doing good.

kohlrabi

Lots of goodies in this weeks box. We hope you enjoy!

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew

 

What’s in this week’s bag?

  • Potatoes**
  • Yellow Onion*
  • Red Onion*
  • Cabbage*
  • Kohlrabi
  • Cucumber(s)
  • Green Beans
  • Yellow Squash*
  • Broccoli*
  • Zucchini
  • Tomato(es)

*Full share only

**Partial share only

 

2017 Week 6 – Weekly Vegetable Subscription

Hello folks!

As usual, it’s been a busy week here on the farm.  We try not to work on the weekends other than going to Farmer’s Markets on Saturday, but sometimes that just doesn’t work out – and this was one of those weekends.

The weather has been pretty warm, to say the least, so keeping the irrigation going on plants has been essential.  The weekend required a lot of irrigation, and as other things took the back seat, the weekend also required a lot of weeding.  Fortunately, this time most of the weeding was done with a harrow from the seat of a tractor, but if you’ve ever seen our little tractors, you’ll know that this is not the nice air conditioned version.  This is the out in the sun, with no shade and hot (or cold in the winter) version.

Now at the end of last week (Friday-ish), the weather folks were predicting highs for the entire week in the upper 90s and even some 100s with lows in the 80s.  Unfortunately, we had plants that we had pulled from the greenhouse that needed to be transplanted.  With that forecast, we made the decision to put them in the ground over the weekend to try to give the plants a chance at survival with at least one cooler evening and a less hot day.  So we took a five-person crew over the weekend and transplanted all of the broccoli that had filled up the greenhouse.  In theory, this should have only taken around four hours.  In reality, we haven’t completely worked out the kinks on the newer transplanter and it took just a bit longer.

Fortunately, because we’ve changed our outdoor irrigation system a bit, once they were in the ground, we were able to quickly get all of the transplants watered.  Also, in a nice turn of weather, we have highs in the 80s for the rest of the week, which will help these little plants out.

This past week we’ve also been working with early starts to try to beat the heat.  6:30 isn’t too bad for a start time, when we consider other days begin at 4:30 and it sure helps everyone survive the heat.

In other farm activities, we’ve been able to harvest with our convey belt this last week which really reduces our labor.  It allows us to get the produce into bins and cooler sooner.  It also means we walk fewer trips through the field.  Check out the pictures on the blog!

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew

2017 Week 5 – Weekly Vegetable Subscription

Hello Folks!

Happy Independence Day!  Well, happy 5th of July – but it’s gonna be a good one.  I know some of you are as tired as we are after visiting some of the Independence Day festivities around town and lighting off fireworks!  I know it was way past our bed time when we made it in last night.

Now, we’d like to have these couple days off, but when it’s July, the crops just don’t let up. So with a vote by the crew, everyone started even earlier than normal yesterday (the 4th) and finished the picking by 10 am.  This morning will see a normal start time as we are excited to say that, as of today, we will begin picking sweet corn!  Yay!! The family snuck out to the field and pulled a few ears for ourselves – and they were awesome! Interestingly, while we begin harvesting the first sweet corn of the year, we also plan to plant the last batch of sweet corn today.  It’s a little bit of the beginning and the end all wrapped up in one.

We’ve had a little bit of rain this week with only a small amount of hail.  This has been a blessing to see rain in the month of July as it takes some pressure off of us in irrigating.  It also makes everything a muddy mess, but we’ll happily accept this.

We have been working on seeding broccoli this week.  We hope to get the last of it seeded and growing in the greenhouse. As this new crop goes in the greenhouse, the current crop is getting pulled out of the greenhouse with a goal to get it planted sometime this week. We will plant several batches of broccoli throughout the year, with the intent of harvesting broccoli well into November and often December. 

We have planted and re-planted cucumbers.  (You probably remember we’ve had several times visits from hail this year.) Now, we have a new plague on the cucumbers – the ground squirrels are eating them.  UGH.

We will again be hosting a farm tour this year.  Watch for the date to come next week!   Have a great week and enjoy the produce!

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew