We had a great turnout out for “La Tomatina Padre” this past weekend! Residents were able to participate in all things tomato from sipping on bloody Mary’s to taste-testing various tomato varieties grown on the farm to lovingly throwing rotten tomatoes at the dads in attendance. In case anyone needed a chance to cool down, they were able to enjoy the slip and slide we set up behind our post-harvest building. If you love ripe summer tomatoes and can’t seem to get enough, make sure to pick some up at the veggie wagon on Saturday from 8am to noon before their season ends.
Before the rains hit us this past week we were able to seed sunn hemp in the freshly tilled section of our north field. A member of the legume family, sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea) is our cover crop of choice for the warm summer months. Originally from the tropic regions of Asia, sunn hemp is an easy grower that thrives in our hot and humid climate. Sunn hemp works to fix beneficial nitrogen back into the soil as it grows. Once it is mowed down, it will be left in place to act as green mulch that will both boost the carbon levels in the soil and deter weed growth. For a visual reference showing the benefits of sunn hemp on our turnip crop, head to this blog post.
Though we’ve been delayed in planting peppers, okra, and eggplant due to the rain, several of our summer crops in the ground are thriving thanks to the extra moisture. Our sugar baby watermelons and muskmelons are so plentiful it’s hard not pause and marvel at all of the greens orbs dotting the flat beds. The three rows of cucumbers we have growing are covered in yellow flowers so it won’t be long before we’re happily up to our knees in fresh cucumbers. Since melons and cucumbers tend to sprawl as their vines grow, they’re naturally working to choke out weeds and keep our task of weeding to a more manageable level.
Our chicks are continuing to grow and fill out more of their feathers. Though they’ve still got another week or two in the brooder, they are beginning to test out their wings and experiment with short bouts of flying. As their personalities emerge they are finding their pecking order and providing us with endless entertainment. Farm Educator Bonnie has been spending a lot of one on one time with the chicks these past few weeks in order to enforce positive human-animal interaction.