CITRUS AND WINTER PESTS
Last week, Farm Educators were already gearing up for spring. Shipments arrived with trays, potting soil, vermiculite, and inoculant, which will all be used to start our spring transplants. Tomatoes and peppers are two of the most important spring transplants, as they are our best sellers. These need the most time possible to grow before the hot summer. A farmer must predict the last frost in the spring, and then count back from that to find their seeding date for transplants. In the case of peppers and tomatoes, we will be starting them up to 8 weeks before they will be transplanted directly into the field as seedlings. We have completed papalo seed harvesting this week, collecting 12 paper grocery bags worth of seed! The orchard looks stunning, freshly tilled and seeded with clover (a nitrogen fixing cover crop). Look for some citrus offerings at the next produce stand by the South Farm.
There will be multiple varieties of satsuma and mandarin oranges for tasting and purchasing! The last sweet potatoes are out of the ground and curing. Sweet potato harvesting is officially over for the year. Before winter is up, we will plant the seed potatoes in the ground to begin sprouting slips. We also needed to thin arugula, bok choy, and cress this week, where we found another little nuisance on the farm. As the seasons change, so do the weeds, pests, and produce. With the nights getting colder, the cucumber beetles that were causing us so much grief are returning to the ground to hibernate, but we are beginning to see more worms and caterpillars like the little guy pictured below.
Like many things on the farm, this one’s cute appearance is a distraction from the destruction he is causing. He was going along the rows of arugula and eating the sprouts down to the ground, which will kill many of them. Don't forget, this week the farmers will be selling produce on December 8, from 3 to 5 pm.
Stop by and see us!