Life and thoughts from a small-scale organic farm . . . and its farmers

This is a blog that explores ideas around the growing of food and community at Glen Valley Organic Farm.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

First week of July on the farm

The sun and heat finally arrived this week and we have left June-uary behind. the fields are looking much better as green begins to take over the colour scheme. Here are some images of the farm from the past few days. Above, row cover over carrots and parsnips keeps the rust fly out. It also keeps heat and moisture in, helping to accelerate growth. The carrots and parsnips have been weeded this past week. Squash are on the left of the cover, onions on the right.

The shallots are looking very nice at the moment (although this bed is close to needing a weeding). Shallots and onions respond to the change in daylight hours after solstice and begin bulbing up.

There's something about the symmetry of some crops growing that looks stunning. Here's an arial shot of our Romaine and Red Oak Leaf lettuces hard at work.

The same can be said for the cabbage. We had our first cabbage harvest this past week. The variety above will be ready in a couple of week. We've tried to plant varieties that will come on consecutively through the season (rather than all at once). I'm still waiting for one of the farmers markets to hold a Cabbage Festival -- enough of the berry fetish! It's krauting time!

The salmonberries are just finishing up. Following them are the thimbleberries and, of course, the actual food crops we grow in our fields.

Above, thimbleberries. Below, flowering blackberries (a feast for the bees).

And the strawberries finally perked up. Nirmal shows off some of the beautiful (although small) harvest.

The redwing blackbirds nest on our farm, offering a great song and fantastic bug-control functions. I love the redwing blackbird, partly because it's one of the familiar birds from growing up on the prairies.

The raspberries have formed fruit and will be ready in a couple of weeks.

Here's an early planting of beans. I'll expect to be harvesting them by the end of the month.

The Fraser River has been very full for a long period this year. Above is a dyke on 88th, just of 264th in Langley (near our farm). Notice on the farm left that the field is flooded -- the dyke is over capacity and a lot of land on the area along the river here is flooded.

Our pasture areas are flooded and there are low areas of our vegetable fields we haven't been able to cultivate this season. This is the water level on my boots walking down to the fields through the pasture. All of the water means that it's a brutal year for mosquitos.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking about the farmer's conundrum (not sure if that's the right word ...) while I was picking up my beautiful (and perfect quantity of) produce yesterday.

    All you get to control is the planting, weeding, nourishing and harvesting. The rest is up to nature, and the policies and practices of your society. And that is about as controllable as the weather.

    Thanks for growing the stuff you do. I have plans for mine ... starting with a really, really big salad at lunch today.