2015 marks our second season living on the farm and our 13th season farming this land! It is nice to roll out of bed at the crack of dawn to check the crops, turn on the water, and plan for the day’s work, sipping a nice strong cup of coffee! The crops are growing well, the weeds are under control as never before, and the squash is starting to produce. You can find our zucchini, gold bar, and zephyr squash at Berryvale currently. We look forward to joining the Mt. Shasta Farmers’ Market in the next few weeks, once the onions bulb up and the cucumbers start producing!
A nice fresh layer of organic aged bark from Shasta Forest Products in Montague helps retain moisture and keeps the top of the soil from crusting over. It also allows room for the onions to bulb up under the compost, protected from the scorching heat and blinding sun. This view is a diagonal from the bottom field up towards the top back corner.
What is the secret to a successful farm? NO FEAR OF HARD LABOR!!! That’s it! We spend most of our time hoeing and weeding, allowing space for the plants to establish themselves. These pictures show the fruits of our labors thus far…we have had many challenges along the way. The warm winter allowed for more pests than ever before. Early on, we fought flea beetles and cutworms. Currently, we are battling rabbits…THEY ARE NOT CUTE!!! Our melon fields are growing beautifully, but have nightly visitations by rabbits, who are eating the Halona melons as soon as they are about the size of a baseball…not even ripe! We tried pepper and garlic spray around the perimeter of the field to deter them, set traps, and night vision cameras. Still, we see new bites in our melons each morning. Skye will be going on patrol before dawn to catch them in the act and shoot them…yes, shoot them before they take out our entire melon crop…we still have faith that the gnawed up melon vegetation can recover without these persistent critters present.
The first melons to produce are the Halonas. They are an orange fleshed sweet muskmelon. What is pictured here are the Galia melons, which are next to start production. Looking good at present…still more reason to get those rascally rabbits out of our fields! Galia melons are green fleshed, sweet with an almost tropical flavor!
We planted two corn varieties this season. An early yellow sweet corn, which can be seen tassling in the background. In the foreground, we have Silver Queen, which is a later white sweet variety. Once the corn starts producing, we should be bringing it to market for a nice strong consistent run!
You can spot the yellow squash blossoms throughout this prolific field of summer squash. Identification of zucchini plants versus gold bar and zephyr (both yellow squash) can be noticed by the coloring of the leaves. The green zucchini has a darker green color, with a mottling of color on the surface, where the yellow squashes have a solid green color.
A view from the top of the property, across the winter squash and down towards the corn fields…it is amazing how much these plants have grown in the last few weeks! When they first got planted and took time establishing themselves, it seems they would never grow…then suddenly…WOW!!! Good qualities for farmers to have are patience and imagination….
View of Mount Shasta from ground level framed by sweet Walla Walla onions…
Thank you flowers and thank you bees! You are most important!
Going Back in Time…
When the end of the school year comes around and our focus shifts to the farm, there is not time for much else. This photo is taken from the lower corner of the cucumber field up towards the back top corner of winter squash. Photos are taken, but we can’t seem to get to the computer. With these excruciatingly high temperatures, well above 100F, we are driven indoors to the cool comfort of our fans and air conditioner to take time to reflect on our work and share our experiences with others. The fields look good, but it’s such a sensitive time, full of wonder and hope….this was just 3-4 weeks ago….
Baby tomato plants at the beginning of June!
Early fields and young grapes…
Corn transplants are started in tree containers for long straight roots.
This is why we’re called Mountain View Organics!!!