The weather is certainly starting to act like there are only two more weeks left in the CSA. The dew is staying on the ground longer in the mornings and the sky is getting darker sooner in evenings. The colder weather and the due make harvesting summer squash and beans early in the day not impossible but unfavorable. Beans really don’t like being stored wet so harvesting early is a pain because you have to dry them out on a rack before you package them up. This year our bean plants are a little shorter then normal and the back field is sandy so you may notice your beans have a bit of grit on them this week. The heavy rain kicked up the soil and our water after a week of being back action but decided to slow back down mid morning so I couldn’t do a wash and dry cycle with them. When the bean plants are wet spreading disease is also really easy. That is the main reason to wait to harvest squash until the plants are nice and dry. Fungus loves ridding on water droplets on your hand and clothes. This time of year is perfect for things like powdery mildew to take off and harvesting when dry is just a small change that makes the plants last just a little bit longer.
With the CSA wrapping up it also means it is time to start harvesting the rice. I’m going to try and wait at least a few more days if not a week or more to harvest. There are some immature grains that if the weather is good enough will ripen and our yield will be higher. My dad has been making some adjustments to our rice processing equipment to make our lives a little easier. He just sent me an update today that he had great success with the rice he had grown in Delaware to practice with. It’s the same variety that we grow but his is ready to harvest a month earlier thanks to the warmer climate. We had a bit more weed pressure then I would have liked this year but for the most part the rice looks better then ever. The section that was normally our highest yield had way to much barnyard grass growing blocking the sunlight. But also when there are weeds and little or no water the shipments have a field day chopping down section and carrying the rice away. I didn’t do any trapping this year but there is evidence of my past trap failures in the field below the paddies. Sunflowers popped up all over where chipmunks had buried them from our buck traps a few years ago. After the tree clearing the extra light and open space must have triggered them.
We have followed the rules of certified organic growing since we started farming but have never felt the need to deal with all the extra work that goes into becoming certified. Mostly because we had so many things going on that made it more complicated. But since the farm is getting slightly less complex next year we are planning on going the certification route. The vegetables are easy since we have never used banned substances on any of the farm we should be ready to go with being certified. The goats will probably will need a “transition” year and then will be official. It won’t make that much of a difference for us at the market but it will be nice to have the official seal there and for doing wholesale accounts. It mostly just means we have to do more diligent paperwork that in reality we should be doing anyway.