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Tomatoes & Potatoes

tomatoes potatoesOh baby, has it ever been warm. Of course, the one year I decide to skip sweet corn (our other local farmers are growing this crop) the weather is perfect. There is some corn in the valley that was waist high by the fourth. Shoot, most farmers are ecstatic with knee high corn by the fourth. For us, the raspberries are on, the peas are on, summer squash is on, the cucumbers and peppers are on. The tomatoes are just turning, the potatoes are already the size of baseballs and soon we will be picking green beans. 

I have been thinking to myself why am I so busy? The other day, I finally came inside at 11 p.m. and realized that I was as hungry as a bear waking up from a long winter’s nap—I had skipped dinner. But the real reason, I am so busy is because we are two to three weeks ahead in most crops. Having that rainy, sunny, rainy, sunny weather cycle has been good for almost everything.

I am a little nervous, though. Strange thing about weather in the NW, last year once it stopped raining at the end of July, it didn’t rain for another 80 days. Most crops appreciate some moisture. And because of the spring and early rains, most crops were able to catch up when the hot August nights rolled around. This year they are early, but will the rains come to carry them to harvest? I think it will work out. But in the end, I can’t change the weather, but I can work with it.

I just planted our last crop of green beans for September harvest and we are now in the process of mostly weeding and harvesting, as opposed to weeding and planting. I love this stage, when we begin to harvest. You get to see the fruit of your labor and, more importantly, you get to start paying off the fertilizer bill, fuel bill and the labor bill, and, hopefully, at the end of the season in November, there will be some $$bills left for the farmer ☺! 

We also managed to get a few hundred bales of hay in the barn. Feels good to have some feed for the beef cows put up in case this great weather holds. When it comes to raising beef, I mostly focus on the grass. My goal is to manage the grass so that the cows don’t overgraze it. I want it to bounce back and get growing again. Rarely does a day go by that the cows are not moved to a fresh pasture. Yes, it is absolutely way more work for us to move our animals daily, but it is way better for the pasture to move the cows daily. And in a year like this…August grass will be a premium if we have another glorious summer with little or no rain till October.