Members have been asking us lately “Have you been getting too much rain?” The short answer is “no”. As a matter of fact, we have been running irrigation for the past week. As you can likely guess, we monitor the weather constantly. We check forecasts and watch radar many times a day if necessary. The forecast tells us if rain is likely and the radar allows us to see it coming towards the farm and lets us make an educated guess as to when it will hit. Is the front in Iowa or Iowa County? This piece of information lets us plan the day or the next hour. Rain patterns this season have been unusual. For weeks there have been multiple rain cells forming, growing, shrinking and moving across the sky. Most of these cells are relatively small, at times raining on our potato fields in Arena but not on the home farm. Our employees may drive through a downpour to get to the farm and but the farm doesn’t get a drop. Vegetables need a lot of water on a regular basis; an inch to inch and a half per week is good. Three inches one week followed by no rain for three weeks doesn’t do us nearly as much good. When we transplant little plants they need water right away, so we run irrigation over them. They can’t wait until it rains, the risk is dead plants. We love gentle one inch rains (weekends are best); then the fields aren’t too wet to work in. But of course we do end up driving trucks and harvesting vegetables in muddy fields. It creates challenges, but we are used to challenges. No two days are ever the same on the farm, plans are made in advance, but we all have to be ready to change them as the weather changes. Rain or the threat of rain determines what we do when. It keeps things interesting around here. And we did get a nice rain Monday night.

Barb

Jesse pulling out an irrigation hose with a tractor.

Jesse pulling out an irrigation hose with a tractor.

The large gun irrigating the cabbage.

The large traveling gun irrigating the broccoli.

A muddy fennel harvest.

 

* Some share will get shell peas this week and the rest of the shares next week; this is because they don’t all mature at once on the vine and need to be harvested multiple times.

Shell peas are a bit old fashioned and truly a ‘slow food’. These peas need to be shelled before you can enjoy them. David timed himself as he shelled our peas, so we know it will take you about 5 minutes to shell your peas; yielding a bit more than 1 cup. They are sugar sweet and can be eaten raw or very lightly steamed. Toss them on a salad or with pasta dish. We have included a recipe. We are excited to be growing them for the first time and want to know if we should grow them again next year. So let us know what you want. We will base our decision on what you say. Thank you.