Before the rain hit us this week we were able to get in a couple of new summer crops. Cow Horn and Stewart Zeebest okra varieties were direct-seeded in our flat beds. Our eggplant starts from the greenhouse were added next to the okra. A species of nightshade, the eggplant has a long history of cultivation. The first written record of this crop can be found in a Chinese agricultural text dating back to the year 544 although it was most likely being cultivated long before that. Ever wondered where eggplant got its name? While the most common eggplant cultivars have an elongated shape and purple skin, the name “eggplant” was first used in the eighteenth century to describe a smaller white cultivar reminiscent of a chicken’s egg.
As the temperature climbs in the summer, we move into maintenance mode on the farm. This includes a lot weeding, removing spent crops, making repairs, and planning for the next season. Though we thoroughly enjoyed them while they lasted, we’re currently working on removing the tomatoes to make room for both sweet and hot peppers. Once we get all of the spent crops removed and the soil has a chance to dry out, we’ll be able to transplant our peppers from the greenhouse. Since we’re getting the last of our summer crops in the ground, it’s time to plan for the cooler months! Over the next few weeks we’ll be working on our fall/winter crop plan. Having a plan in place ahead of time allows us to iron out the details of which crops we’d like to plant, what seeds to order, where and when they will be planted, and potential harvest windows.
We’d like to take the opportunity to highlight another one of our hardworking farm volunteers. Lily has eagerly become the lead animal volunteer helping with the care of our goats and chickens. An animal lover at heart, Lily began volunteering with us for the chance to work more closely with animals. At home she enjoys researching the care of her own pets as well as that of our farm animals. There’s a lot that goes into caring for our animals so we’re incredibly grateful to have Lily’s help! If you’re interested in helping out on the farm, shoot us an e-mail and we’d be more than happy to chat about volunteer opportunities.