Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer? in Vermont

Blog entries a month apart, the surest sign this year that it is actually summer. It seems that temps have been an average of 5 degrees cooler than last year or so. This said, most plants keep chugging along, possibly a little slower, but things as a whole are actually starting to look even more in control (ie neater) at Open Heart Farm. The weather turned what was seeming like a loser of a pea season into an about average one.

The weather has also played a major role in the largest farm story of this year. Late Blight on tomatoes. Let me first assure all members and well-wishers that our tomatoes look amazingly healthy (knock on wood) - and while they, like alot of stuff, are seeming a bit late, I hope that we will have a nice warm fall and a long tomato season. That said, this dark humid cool weather is the absolute most conducive weather for late blight, which as I understand it is a bacteria that travels on the wind, up to fourty miles a day.

What happened to make this the year for late blight? The aforementioned weather was necessary, but it was all helped by the big box stores selling tomato starts from South Carolina. Like I said, once your plants are within a few miles of your neighbors tomatoes, there is cause for concern.

One thing thaat I think has kept our tomatoes so nice looking is the compost tea that we spraying about three weeks before this news hit the scene: it brewed for two weeks with stinging nettle tops and horse tail, two high-silica plants (along with other attributes I don't know). This year has me appreciated the possibilities of biodynamic farming more than ever. The organic alternative is copper sulfate, which isn't all that bad for people, but is more covering the plant than giving it health, and leaves me potentially washing all our tomatoes.

I'll try to bring the camera today, and post again before the month is out.