June Field Notes from Riverdog Farm

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Courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop

Image courtesy of Riverdog Farm, Guinda, CA

June 4, 2012

Unexpected cloud cover today brought rain, cooler temperatures, and pleasant humidity during a time of year that is typically hot and parched. Thunderhead clouds gathered to the north of Capay Valley, above the mountains in Mendocino, before the rain started. During the summer months, when the thunderhead clouds occasionally stack up, spectacular lightening bolts from dry, electrical storms illuminate the night sky to the north of the farm. This tends to happen in August. Our barley and triticale fields are almost ready to harvest so too much rain would make the drying stand of grains more challenging for the combine. But since they are not quite dry enough to harvest a few days of sunshine after these light showers should be ample dry weather to ensure good grain harvest conditions.

June 11, 2012

Very warm weather is expected this week. Our grain crops are dry enough to harvest. A handful of students from Esparto High started working on the farm this week. They will be here all summer to earn some spending money and learn about planting, harvesting, and packing organic produce. Some of them worked last summer and for some, this is their first job.

June 18, 2012

Last Saturday was 105 degrees! It was the hottest day of summer so far. Typically, the warm air breaks by 11 pm, but Friday night saw the north winds blowing warm air into the valley. By 8 am, it was already 85 degrees and the gauge rose to triple digits. This week will be warm again, reaching the summer solstice, the day of the year with the longest daylight hours. Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to escape the heat this summer and head over to the cool coast.

Image courtesy of Riverdog Farm, Guinda, CA

June 25, 2012

Unseasonably cool weather arrived on Friday that has lasted several days. This means extended growing conditions for the spring greens and delayed plant growth of the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. We have a visitor, Jerome from Ireland who is working on the farm for 3 months with a work exchange program called CIEE. He is a carpenter interested in farming so he is building new picnic tables for the crew and many other farm tasks. In his first week here he observed: a mama pig giving birth to 15 piglets, 2 quails nests full of eggs in the orchard where he was pruning, a bobcat running across the field, and lots of California quail.


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