July Field Notes from Riverdog Farm

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From Riverdog Farm, courtesy of  Capay Valley Farm Shop

July 2, 2012
Summer crops are beginning to fill the fields and coolers; pallets of beets and greens are sharing space with summer squash and potatoes. White peaches are ripening for the pick, and most of the onions are already in storage. On the tomatoes, corn and melon front, we are still a few weeks away, however we are observing hearty growth. The tractors continue their wheeled march of bed preparation, cultivation and planting. In many fields, pipes are being replaced with drip tape. Hundreds of steel stakes have taken sentry in the tomatoes and peppers, who have begun to be lashed to there rusting overlords. Soon we will head into the big harvest, and the speculation and idle discussion on the propensities of the staple crops will take on flesh-and-blood immediacy and the trucks will be laden with fat tomatoes and stalwart melons.

July 16, 2012
While summer harvest begins in earnest,  the greenhouse is filling up with trays of fall greens. The plastic covers from winter are now replaced with shade cloth. We’ve had some natural shade this week too – high, grey rain clouds in mid-July and a blanket of fog over the western ridge. A group of folks from the charcuterie Fatted Calf - some from their store in SF and others from their store in Napa - came for a farm tour yesterday. They enjoyed holding the week-old chicks and day-old piglets for their first time ever along with harvesting and sampling our first cantaloupes, yellow watermelons, and gypsy peppers!

July 23, 2012
The winter squash plants are covering the field where they are growing. Their long, reaching tendrils look very lush, especially after receiving a deep watering. The vines are loaded with small squash. The squash harvest looks promising. Our expected harvest time for the squash is late September/early October. The pepper plants are also lush. They are growing in a field where we previously had alfalfa and grazing chickens so the foliage has a dark green color. We are trellising them for the first time this year to keep the central stalk of the plant upright. This allows the leaves to provide better shade and protect the peppers from sunburn.


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