May 21, 2014

It’s May. Not much time for anything but farm work this time of year. We’ve had two rain ‘events’ in the past few weeks. First was over 3″ and second was over 5″. All within a day or two.

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Flooding in the tunnel.

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Flooded potato beds.

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Water flowed in places we’ve never seen it before. Such as through this bed that had just been tilled and was awaiting planting.

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Luckily our grass walking rows didn’t let the soil get too far, and we were able to move it back where it belongs.

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So many of our crops were in standing water for extended periods. Not a good situation!

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The water from the creek flowed out of its banks and created a new path by the log yard.

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The more we grow outside, the more we appreciate the protection the tunnels offer. Compared to a maybe 50-75% success rate with outdoor crops, we can usually get a 90-100% success rate in the tunnels. We’ve had some pretty great spring crops, quite a few of them coming from indoors!

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The tomatoes are growing like crazy and it’s all I can do to keep up with the weekly pruning and trellising.

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Soon I will also be harvesting.

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Very soon!

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We tried growing a row of strawberries in the tunnel.

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Summer crops are imminent.

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A row of Asian greens. This year they’ve been bolting faster than I can harvest them.

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And of course there are the voles, sucking down quite a bit of my work.

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Perhaps I should just plant double what I need to feed the voles?

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9 thoughts on “May 21, 2014

  1. john alexander says:

    Thought my tomatoes were doing well until I saw yours. Got to get me a tunnel here on the mountain.

  2. Nicole Sanderlin says:

    I had no idea you got so much rain on that side of the mountains! Maybe it washed away some of the voles? 🙂

  3. Amy says:

    Holy crap, Meredith! That was some kind of rain “events”….we haven’t seen that up on our ridge. Nope. The prevailing westerly winds are what we battle. Man, the water!

    Still, your crops look amazing. I spied some of my favorite peppers. And the tomato is ALMOST too perfect to eat. You are going to have quite the haul.

  4. Meredith says:

    John, Yes, even a small cold frame can make a big difference.
    Nicole, For some reason we got even more than the surrounding areas as well, seems like most people said they got around 3″. The vole tunnels did get washed out but the tunnels extend into the grass paths and I think they take up residence there during the rain!
    Amy, We have bad winds too sometimes and that is a pain with the row covers. But be glad you don’t have the water problems! We did eat the tomato. It was delicious! Can’t wait for more!

  5. Celina says:

    How come there are yellow brassica seed flowers alongside the white flowered pea pods? Are they part of the same plant, or maybe it’s a symbiosis relationship between two different plants?

  6. Meredith says:

    Celina, Wow, you are super-observant! I had planted some greens mix brassicas that I use in the salad mix at the base of the pea plants. The brassicas went to flower while the peas did their thing. I was just trying to use my limited space to its fullest extent.

  7. Amy says:

    Meredith, just over night some of our Asian greens are starting to bolt as well. I didn’t have such an issue last year (quite different weather). Are they still marketable? How do you manage greens that up and bolt? Should I remove them all? Do you know if all of the flower heads edible (tasted a Mizuna bud – was like broccoli)?

    Bolting is in occasional tatsoi, ruby streaks (the worst), occasional Mizuna, a couple Tokyo bekana.

    Thanks for any advice!

  8. Meredith says:

    All flowerheads in the brassica family should be edible. You can harvest and eat them as long as they are tender. The thinner plants like mizuna and ruby streaks probably would get too woody too fast to sell, but you can tell if they are when you break them off if they are too tough.

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