We’re going to try really hard to not just talk about how hot and dry it is! There is more to tell than that about what’s going on around here, fortunately. Making the best of the well that we currently have (at 2 gpm, it’s producing just a fraction of the water we need), Dan set up this small-ish cistern we had, pumping water from the well to it, and pumping water out of the cistern into the fields. This strategy provides a greater gpm (gallons per minute) that is needed to be able to water enough sections of a field at one time. At night, no water goes out into the fields, allowing the cistern to re-fill. This, along with sadly but strategically letting some crops die by not watering them, is how we are getting by for now. (fyi – All pictures below were taken today.)
Moving into this hottest part of the summer, we are now shading the salad mix to allow it to grow in this heat that it doesn’t prefer. We plant salad mix every week all season long, and this technique helps it to grow this time of year. Yum! These salads, now topped with the incredible fruits of mid-summer, are the staple of our daily eating.
Speaking of these salads, the Richmond Times Dispatch did a nice little article on vinaigrettes, for which we were interviewed. You can find it, including the recipe to our favorite Shiitake Sesame Vinaigrette, here. Many thanks to Holly Prestidge for writing that article.
Garlic and onions have been pulled up and are now drying. That is one thing this weather is great for!
We have begun construction on a larger, more insulated clay oven in which to bake bread and pizza. Hip hip hooray! YOU can help with that process by donating (empty) wine bottles to the cause. We will use about 400 of them as part of the insulation layer under the base of the oven. (We can only use the smaller, standard 750 ml bottle.) You can drop them off at our market stands or here at the farm. Many thanks in advance!
We were delighted to host Karen, owner of GrowRVA and manager of the South of the James market, along with Tim Murphy, here for our farm inspection yesterday. They got to see what our fields are looking like and hear about plans for the future. Thanks go out to them for taking the time to check out some local farm vendors’ operations.
And….at the Brandermill market tomorrow, we will be sampling a little turnip snack that we love around here: Thinly sliced Hakurei turnips, topped with either sweet cream butter or Night Sky Farm’s goat chevre, and a sprinkling of smoked or merlot sea salt and micro-greens. Delicious! We hope you’ll stop by and try some.
Harvest this week: beets, carrots, chard, cucumbers, microgreens, salad mix, heads of red leaf lettuce and romaine, okra, perpetual spinach, peppers, potatoes, summer squash, turnips, and tomatoes. Plus, eggs, bread, and flowers.
Keep up the water prayers, and we’ll see you at market.