At the start of today's field walk I checked in with Boistfort Valley Farm's newest addition. Lisa Marie has joined us to take on some of the book work in the office; taking orders and printing invoices and pack sheets among other things. She seems to be getting the hang of things here as she politely asks me to talk to the hand.
One of my biggest concerns right now is the health and well being of our crops. Aphids just love these warm dry days, and though the cool nights and mornings seem to be knocking them back a bit, they are still enemy #1 at the farm. We grow over 5 acres of celery and I am an attentive and doting steward when it comes to this crop.
You have to get right in there to find the earliest signs of an aphid population, or the early onset of early blight, or black heart or any number of afflictions I do not care to dwell on but that constantly threaten an organic crop. A large block of a single crop is an unnatural occurance, and without the silver bullet of high potency pesticides and fungicides it requires constant diligence, and a great degree of faith and attention to detail. My friend Nil always reminds me "there is no fertilizer like the footprints of the master".
Here is a good example of something or things done right as this crop of broccoli has made it to harvest as a consistent and healthy crop during the greatest degree of pest pressure.
Another surprise victory in this short season is our melon crop which appears ready for harvest in the next few days. This will be our first real harvest of melons of any sort in several years.