Friday Field Update No. 10

Happy Friday, and welcome back to my little corner of the internet. Today’s topic is my mortal enemy: WEEDS. But first, an adorable family picture!

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If you look at the top of our website, you will find it says we are a farming family and this is the start of my own little family. I thought it would be nice to share so you could get to know me a little more. This is my lovely wife Mandy, and our ferocious canine Obi-Wan Kenobi (we call him Obi for short). Last night we were picking out some flowers to plant in our containers. We kinda just pick out whatever we like and then try to find some way to make it all look good. It’s really quite fun. Having Obi around always makes things more stressful- fun! I mean more fun. He’s a pure angel most of the time, but can turn into quite the devil...

 A rather large weed erupting from our pea field. 

A rather large weed erupting from our pea field. 

 Tiny tomato plant that grew from the seed of a tomato from last year left on the ground. It is now a weed. 

Tiny tomato plant that grew from the seed of a tomato from last year left on the ground. It is now a weed. 

Ok, back to the real devil at hand. Do you know what a weed really is? Have you ever taken time to think about it? I learned the true definition only a couple of years ago. A weed is any plant that is undesirable. That means that weeds are dandelions or quack grass growing in a strawberry field. It also means it is a tomato plant growing between the rows of tomatoes that we are actually cultivating, like in this picture. This tiny tomato plant will just be in the way, not getting enough water, getting stepped on, and possibly causing disease. Even if it did grow well, it is increasing our population(number of plants in a certain area) which is not what we want. It’s hard to believe that a tomato plant in a tomato field is a weed, but in this case that’s all it is.

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High tunnel update! The plants are doing marvelous. As you can see, they are really filling out the space. Fortunately for us, we have been working with Cornell Cooperative Extension employees for the past couple years with their High Tunnel research. They have been sending samples of our leaves into a lab to get them analyzed in order to evaluate the nutrition of the plants. This has been extremely beneficial for us. With these foliar samples taken every other week, we can really fine tune the fertilizer we are feeding the tomatoes in order to give them exactly what they need to make ripe, juicy tomatoes. Our first foliar results are in and they look great! We are right on track to producing a great crop of early tomatoes in our high tunnel.

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Over in the Strawberry field, things are happening. We have awesome looking green berries, plants still blooming, and a friendly bird nest. I haven’t identified the bird that laid this beauty yet. It is similar to a killdeer, but much smaller. Maybe a plover? But yes, green berries! Look how big that one is. They will be ready soon I hope, I can’t wait!

We are finally able to plant some of our more sensitive transplants now that the threat for frost is ninety nine percent gone. With mother nature, there is never a 100% guarantee. We planted our first planting of zucchini, and lettuce. This wagon is full of pickling cucumbers. They are on the wagon not to be transported quite yet, but to harden off, as we call it. When the plants are growing in the greenhouse, they are happy as a clam. No brutal wind to knock them around and a nice, consistent water to feed them and quench their thirst. If we were to put these plants out into the field right away, their survival rate would not be very good at all. By leaving them in their trays, and limiting the amount of stress we expose them to, we can help smooth their transition into the field, in order to keep our plants happy and healthy. Just the way we like them.

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Ok, that is all for this week. Thank you so much for reading and hope to see you back here next Friday!