While it has been great working in the cool of these strange summer days (as you home gardeners no doubt agree) we need some heat for those summer lovin' veggies! Tomatoes, peppers, melons, they all like the heat and you can see the positive response when we get it - foliage grows, yields increase.
Some harvest photos...
Our 'Winningstadt' cabbage grew huge this season! We have had several reports that it makes delicious cole slaw and have been enjoying the tasty slaw at home quite a bit as well.
We had some lovely visitors out to the farm! Harry and Jackie Hoch, of Hoch Orchards and Gardens
(La Crescent, MN) stopped in. They have been fabulous mentors for us for the orchard, hogs and farming business.
Mmmmm, garlic. We have our best garlic year yet and we are so grateful for this! Two years ago there was a very widespread garlic disease, which meant no saving seed from the crop. We experienced some residual effects from that last year and decided to bring in new seed again...
This year we will be able to save our seed garlic! This saves us money and adds to our viability as a business and over time this seed will become adapted to our micro-climate, showing hardiness and vigor. Sweet!
Farm cat Ivan, enjoying the flowers?
John looking at the 'Honeycrisp' tree in our home orchard. It is looking bountiful this season!
Along with the garlic, our storage onions are curing. We tried a new method this season, where we remove the tops right away, in the field. It is working fabulously! It means more work up front, but it leaves the organic matter in the field, which we like. Plus it makes it much easier to lay them out.
It's a hard melon year for many farmers, it sounds like. Our farmer mentor was out at the farm on Saturday and Ben taught us a little more about melons, which was great, as they are a tricky crop in some ways and there is always more to learn about any crop! We have about 50% fruit set on our melons, but there will be melons to enjoy!
A look down the bean row. Beans have been amazing this season! We love cooking them in a foil pack on the grill.
The whole crew. We have said goodbye to ten of our herd, as they have moved on to new homes. Some left as feeder pigs, for folks to grow out and harvest. One of the sows and two of the gilts (unbred female) have left to nurture other herds. It was sad to say goodbye, but part of the process and they went to great homes.
A few photos from the farmers' market. We are the first certified organic vendor :)
And a little sneak peek at apple season...our 'Beacon' apples made it into boxes this week!