by Annie Main, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop
When I am unsure what to write about I always take a walk around the farm-it is an easy place to get motivated just seeing what is happening in the different fields”¦..well I came back to the office a bit empty this time-we are still in transition from a spring that was late and wet, making it weed rich and crop poor. We lost several plantings of carrots this year to the weeds”¦along with other crops too; the strawberries have taken a hard hit. As beautiful as the spring was, as much as I loved the late rains, enjoying inside time to finish up the work on our house and to actually have time to move in, the consequences were that the fields were rampantly growing weeds”¦and now is the time for the hit of what that means. We are behind”¦ it is sad to say but seems that we say that ever year. The farm looks empty right now-a transition of weedy fields mowed and disked with Jeff readying sections of the fields into beds with a green house full of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and basil to plant into the ground today!!!!!!! The squash, cucumbers and string beans were planted about a month ago with the squash ready to harvest in a few weeks.
The cherry crop is light because of the rain during bloom, and I am not sure if you know about the Western Spotted Fruit Fly infestation that started about 3 years ago on the west coast from where nobody seems to know. It is a small hard to see fruit fly that enters in the bottom of hairless fruits (cherries, berries) just before fruit ripening This arrived so fast in the fruit industry that it became wide spread all up really knew it was happening. We use an organic pesticide that we apply before the female adults take flight, but as you can imagine, timing is everything.
As hard as this spring has been, there are always positive sides to everything. It is a real pleasure to be living in our new house, and having my mom live with us, she continues to be an inspiration to Jeff and me. It was so great to have Zach work with us all winter. We had a bumper citrus crop that has never happened. We have been threatening for the last 3 years to cut the 17 year old orange trees out because they just weren’t the best flavor or juicy. This year they completely turned around and not only were good to eat but a bumper crop. We have 25 gallons of orange juice in our freezer, and will experiment with drying the rest of the fruit on the trees”¦”¦. and we have a great apricot crop coming in about two weeks. Many other farms around us lost their apricots to hail or freeze, so we were lucky to have such a crop. Also the peaches, nectarines and plums look good too.
So this transition will pass in a few weeks, and the summer will be upon us in full swing, but lately Ricardo asks me “what will be harvest for the box this week there is nothing out there”. This is when one has to believe in the mystery of life, the magic of what can happen, and the ability of scrounging the wild abundance.