Postcard from the Farm: Early August

We moved to northern Michigan seven years ago, and since then, 2018 has easily been the hottest, driest summer we've ever had. Ever since the beginning, we've relied on a regular house well to irrigate the whole farm. It was never ideal, but somehow we managed.

This spring, we invested in a new agricultural well. It was a major purchase for us, but we knew we needed it. The power company predicted it would take days to connect the new well to the power supply, but days turned into months of waiting. 

You may recall the incredible snowstorm that happened in late April of this year. That late snow turned into this very hot, dry early summer. The combination of the two ruined some early crops like peas, and set us behind with other crops likes carrots and beets. Slower-growing, moisture-sensitive crops just didn't get enough water, plus all heat- and drought-stressed plants are more susceptible to pests and disease. Unfortunately, garden weeds seem to be the only crops that grow well without sufficient water. 

The new well was finally connected in July, and that was not a moment too soon. The pump has been running pretty much nonstop since then. We really don't know how we could have coped with the last few weeks without it.

In northern Michigan, it's not unusual for rains to resume and slightly cooler temperatures to take hold starting sometime in August. That will be a welcome relief, though as I write, we're experiencing another couple days in the mid-90s. 

I'm happy to report that the crops that suffered so much in the first part of summer are all making a nice comeback today. We're sending nice broccoli home with CSA members starting this week. Broccoli should remain a pretty consistent offering throughout most of the rest of the summer. Cauliflower and Romanesco shouldn't be far behind. 

Tomatoes are starting to come on strong now, too. Melons are making their debut, and the potato field is looking absolutely great.

It's a Sunday afternoon. Aaron is out there weeding the carrots, like he weeded the carrots yesterday morning and yesterday afternoon. And just like not too many months ago, say the weekend that April snowstorm blew, baby plant seedlings are out there growing strong in hundreds of tiny seed trays, ready to take their turn as mature plants in the garden, then after that, to fill bountiful winter CSA boxes. 

Love from the farm, 

Mary Brower2 Comments