Labor Day

Sprout Farm Newsletter August 29, 2019

Good Morning Everyone,

Labor Day is just around the corner and we’re still debating if or how long we will be open on Labor Day. My vote is to close for the day and rest from labor but Jay sees labor as a goal and is always a good thing. At least one person needs to have that attitude of, “I can’t wait to get up in the morning and work the farm.” Can you guess which one of us fits that description?

The labor was made a little easier by last night’s drenching rain. We don’t have to hand water the mums that are now on display outside the greenhouse under the pergola. The bees had a soggy evening. I went to pick flowers this morning and the bees looked soaked. Some of them were trying to dry themselves off, while in the flower blooms. This made the job a ‘look before you snip’ project. I think bumble bees park themselves in a flower to wait out the night. The flowers in the soil bags are doing OK. Asters have a problem with fusarium wilt, a tenacious disease that enters through the roots and blocks vessels in the cells. It seems to strike plants in the field and in the sterile bags so I just have to be happy with the plants that survive. Asters are a beautiful late summer flower but it takes discipline to plant them in the spring and wait and wait for them to bloom while everything around them is exploding with color. Then you have to plant to buy or plant a second crop several weeks later for continuous color.

We welcome all hunting cats to the garden and we were surprised this week to have a returning visitor from our next door neighbor. Pocodot, the eleven year old, white cat with big black spots, showed up after being missing for two months. The owner reported him missing to animal control, the MSPCA and spread the word around the neighborhood. He was turned into the MSPCA and put up for adoption. Poco is very friendly. The first night home, the family who adopted him recognized Poco as the lost cat and called the original owner who was thrilled to get him back home. The MSPCA allowed the new owners the opportunity to adopt another cat free of charge. Here’s the twist. Poco has had a microchip for years. Back home in the neighborhood he was happily patrolling our zucchini this morning. I don’t know what our kittens will make of Poco. They’re still getting used to our older cats. The kittens discovered toilet paper last night, all over the place.

Back to food. We have a new variety of apple from the Big Apple; Sansa. It is a Gala cross and it is sweet and firm. I don’t know how long it will be available but you may want to give it a try. The peaches are juicy and we are about half way through the peach season. Summer squash and zucchini are on a day to day basis. One farmer talked to Jay about picking up squash in the Boston Market but when he looked at the squash, then looked at the price he said, “I have better looking squash in the field that I pass over because it isn’t good enough for the farm stand.” We have some coming but it really is day to day. I don’t know what to tell you about white corn. Some days we have it and some days we don’t. Right now Hanson Farm in Bridgewater is the only farm that has it. The corn season usually lasts through Columbus Day. I will not call it Indigenous People Day. I’m OK with a special day for a man who set out to sail unknown oceans. Name me one venture that didn’t have unintended consequences. Crickets. That’s weeks away and by then we’ll be bundling up in woolens and polar fleece, eating kale soup and butternut squash.

That’s all for now. The mums are beautiful but we can’t allow people to roam the greenhouses because there is a slippery layer of algae on the floor and we know how to walk slowly.

We’ll see you soon,

Jay and Phyllis Sprout