Sprout Farm News Letter Aug. 2 2018 www.sproutfarm.net
Good Morning Everyone,
I asked Jay what he wanted to say to everyone and he said to tell you, It's Hot!” so says the weatherman of Mashpee. Right now he's taking the brush hog to the weeds in the blueberry plants, which are taking years to produce berries, and pathways in the new raspberry plants. We have to be patient. We are in an area that still suffers from a high amount of winter moth damage. I hope there is an easy solution for this soon as these bugs do a season's worth of damage before the buds swell in the springtime. Scott Sauchuk says that to get a blueberry crop, “You have to spray and spray like your life depends on it.” That means your equipment needs to be in perfect working order first thing in the season. That's like scheduling an oil change in your car. Everything looks great but you do it anyway to keep your car running smooth. Our local birds will be happy if we don't net the plants.
We've been growing tomatoes in the field for years and frankly I've never counted on them because they always seem to be hit with diseases very quickly. Jay has made some changes because he's been able to talk to farmers who have figured out how to do it better. Most of the time I do the driving off Cape to pick up corn, peaches and tomatoes from other farms. I don't like to set up the stand in the morning but Jay needs to do the driving occasionally so that he can talk to the other farmers and ask them questions. The internet, books and pamphlets from the extension service are great but the answers you needs may be buried under a lot of information you don't need. One farmer told Jay he had the right formula of fertilizer but the concentration wasn't high enough. We have centralize drip irrigation and our water soluble fertilizer is delivered at precise concentrations through a dosatron. Increasing the concentration was the first change. Another visiting farmer told us that the secret to keeping the plants healthy was to do preventative fungicide spraying. It works. We're waiting for our determinate tomatoes to start ripening but it won't be long. If they all ripen at once, who's going to pick them? We have very large Juliet grape and cherry tomatoes to start off the season for field tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes are escaping their cages so fast that we hung 60” netting around the whole row of cherry tomato cages just to try to keep them in check. The caged tomatoes are creeping into the walkway next to the field tomatoes and the field tomatoes are escaping their Florida string system. It's like two rival teenage gangs fighting over a narrow piece of turf. Some times, when they get clipped, you just say ,”Too bad. I have more than enough tomatoes to worry about a few lost flowers trusses.”
Years ago our daughter was visiting relatives out of state when a pony she was riding decided to go under a low hanging branch. She came home with her arm in a 'cast'. When the Falmouth doctor checked her out everything was fine but he commented that he had heard about this 'cast on a roll' but had never actually seen it in use. He liked what he saw and thought he might use it. I was startled that his attitude was like a couple of women trying out recipes. If cooking and medicine work that way, why not farming and gardening?
Yes, peaches are ready but we won't have them today because they sold out yesterday and I won't be home from the Big Apple until 10:30 tomorrow. Please give us some time to put the peaches in boxes and thank you for not squeezing the fruit. The price per pound comes out to aprox. $2.50/lb including paper towels.
There are no more sugar snap peas. So sad. White corn is in and should be with us for the rest of the season.
We composted the last of the Proven Winners this week. They didn't look like winners anymore.
See you soon,
Jay and Phyllis Sprout