Leafy greens are growing well, and not suffering too much pest damage. Arugula and baby salad greens are all thriving, despite some competition with the weeds. All five varieties of kale are ready for harvesting, and Swiss chard will be ready in a week or so. I’ll be harvesting the RAFT heirloom lettuce (‘Forellenschuss’ a.k.a. “Freckles”) to sell at the market this week.
New insects seem to be showing up daily, so I have my pest ID books handy. Tarnished plant bugs, potato leafhoppers, squash bugs, Colorado potato beetles, Japanese beetles, asparagus aphids. Who’s next?
Cucumber beetles have arrived (how did they all know I was here?) and are wreaking havoc on the cucumbers and squash plants, but my earliest planting is looking good, and I’ll be harvesting my first squash in the next couple of days. The winter squash is my real worry. Cucumber beetles are selective about winter squash; they clearly prefer certain varieties over others. So, the Butternut plants are not suffering too much damage, but the Kabocha are getting devoured.
Onions, leeks and shallots are growing well, but the weeds are starting to overtake the plants, so weeding the onion beds has become a top priority. There’s no way around it. My fields are pretty weedy. This is the major downside to planting into a new field that’s just been plowed for the first time in – well, for as long as anyone can remember. The straw mulch is helping a little, but the grass really just wants to grow back.
We’ve been thoroughly enjoying big green salads, with lots of arugula. It’s great to finally be filling the fridge with stuff from our own fields. Last night, I made scallion pancakes – a great recipe from the Willow Pond Community Farm recipe blog.