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Recovering from Tropical Storm Beta

Village Farm Team,

We don’t have an accurate measurement of the amount of rainfall we received last week due to Tropical Storm Beta (it maxed out our rain gauge!) but we think it was around ten inches. Due to the excessive rainfall, we lost about half of our tomatoes, all of our remaining squashes including zucchini, butternuts, and pumpkins, and all of our remaining cucumbers. This is one of the great challenges of growing in the Gulf Coast. The brassicas we just planted seem to be doing okay so far but we’re already planning on seeding more just in case. Our eggplant and peppers appear to have fared pretty well and we’re already starting to harvest small amounts of banana peppers and shishitos.

Since they provide better drainage than our field, we’ve been trying to maximize the use of our raised beds. In addition to all of the herbs we have growing we’ve also planted arugula, mizuna, turnips, radishes, and beets. The beets took a bit of a pounding from the rain but are doing pretty well! We’ve already started harvesting small amounts of arugula which will provide a nice leafy green option until we start harvesting kale. We’re looking forward to all of fall and winter favorites eventually making their way back into season.

One of our hen’s from our first flock is transitioning to a rooster! Over the past couple of months she’s been climbing the flock hierarchy and now finds herself close to the top. As you can see from the photo, she’s developed impressive tail feathers and more vibrant coloring just as you would find in a rooster of the same breed. So how exactly does a hen transition to a rooster? Current evidence supports the theory that sexual differentiation in birds is a mix of direct genetic and hormonal mechanisms. When a hen reverses roles, it is thought to be connected to changes in sex steroid hormone action (such as estrogen). While the outward appearance and social behavior of this hen will express as male, it will not be able to fertilize any eggs. We’re still learning about this fascinating transitional process so we’ll make sure to keep you updated as we learn more!

Please note the veggie wagon is still open on Saturdays from 8-12 but with more stringent sanitary protocols in place!

Happy Harvesting, The Agmenity Farm Team

Words & Photos by Courtney West

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