Friday, August 24, 2012

Catching up

It's time to play catch up.  I know that I promised myself, and you, in May that I would write a blog post every week and I know that I haven't done that - not even close.  When you are trying to run an herb farm with wholesale deliveries, farmers markets to prepare for and sell at, CSA shareholders to tend to, weeding, watering, building in a new location AND another full time job on top of it - well,  let's just say it gets busy. 

So here's an update.  It has been Basil city - Basil CRAZY  - around here lately.  Poor Amber, our summer employee has thought she might never get out of the basil rows.  The first succession of Basil is getting tired.  It really didn't like those cool nights and heavy morning dews we had for a while and all of the picking has taken its toll.

Although it looks tall and wonderful - 24 inches tall now - a closer examination shows that there isn't a lot of the high quality stuff we sell left in there...

See the brown spots and the little holes - I call this ugly basil and I don't like picking it.

The second succession is looking good and although it didn't like the cold and dewey mornings either, we're still able to pick from it with success.  The third succession shown below went into a funk and didn't grow any when we had those really hot days - of course it would have helped if we had watered it a bit more, so it's not quite ready for picking.  We have begun to water it more and if Mother Nature holds off on sending in Jack Frost, hopefully we'll get to pick from it in a few weeks.

The Lemon Basil looks good - it always looks good.  It seems that 'Mrs. Burns' is a harder worker than 'Genovese' and takes the cool night weather better.  We could get by with just one planting of Lemon Basil but we always do at least two and that's more than plenty.
The first succession of Dill and Cilantro are also tired.  They've been pushed and pushed harder than any little plant should be.  You can see them starting to form seeds and flowers.  While we normally would just pull them out, we've had such a high amount of requests for pickling Dill, we've decided to let the Dill heads go and we'll try to fill some of those requests.

Barry has been pouring the water to our final succession of Dill and Cilantro trying to coax it into readiness. It seems reluctant but we're hoping by next week we'll have some fresh stuff for everyone.

Overall the whole field still looks pretty good.  With TDH's new toy, the PlotMaster, we've been able to keep all weeds in check and have less maintenance to do than we did in our last location - which only leaves more time to do other things, like pack for shareholders, contact new customers and work on completion of the wash/pack facility.  Which by the way, TDH put a window in there the other day - just my height - hooray!  The windows in our last wash/pack were too high for me to look out of!

That really tall stuff is the fennel - monstrous isn't it?

I'd like to say that I'll be better and next week I'll do a blog post again, but I hate to promise something I can't deliver.  Next week we're hoping to turn this...

Into this...

Minus the snow built up on the outside, TDH's large coat and of course with the solid end walls installed again.  That means busy, busy, busy.  Right now, I have to head out and pick Lemon Basil and Parsley for tomorrow's farmers market and Tarragon, Sage, and Mint for our shareholders.  All the while I'll be dreaming of the day when I can again say I have a clean house and a stocked pantry.