Sunday, August 10, 2008


Well here it is August 10th and still no ripe tomatoes.
We are harvesting peppers, zucchini, cabbage, onions, sweet corn, herbs, cucumbers ( almost done), and still a little lettuce. But no tomatoes yet. To paraphrase an old song "Yes we have no tomatoes, we have no tomatoes today." In case you haven't noticed we are wishing and hoping the tomatoes would ripen.
But we've been busy....
Our 3000 tomato plants have wooden stakes every other plant. String is woven on both sides of the plants and wrapped around the stake every 9-12 inches. The tomatoes do not touch the ground, keeping them clean and free of disease. Much of this work has been done in July, but some plants will get a fourth string this month.

After a very wet end of June (3.65 inches 6/26 to 6/30), dry weather finally arrived. From July 10-19, over 600 bales of hay were stacked in the barn.

On July 8, Phil planted Sweeter 'N Honey, a sorghum/sudan grass hybrid, as a summer cover crop.
First, he disked the field.

Then, he cleaned out the Ontario grain drill to plant the seed.

In 5 days, the field was a faint green, indicating the sprouted seed.

In 2 weeks, the grass had grown about 8 inches. By August 2, it was above my knees. This is being grown on a field not used for vegetables this year. It will be plowed under to add organic matter to the soil. Rye, another cover crop, will be planted this fall, to protect the soil through the winter.

We've been trying to keep ahead of the bugs and weeds. For about 2 weeks, Becky spent 2 hours a day removing Japanese beetles from the basil, eggplant, roses and hibiscus, all of which are especially favored by those bugs. When they could be counted, from 200 - 300 beetles were removed from a single trip out and back the row of eggplant! Anyone who shows up at the farm to work was sent to hoe weeds. At Douds Floyd Farm, it isn't enough to pull weeds; if you are working with Phil, you will also learn the names of the weeds.

Back to the old grindstone...