The News from Windflower Farm
What’s in your share?
- Green leaf lettuce
- Red onions
- Garlic scapes
- Your fruit share will be one quart of peaches.
During the winter, we arranged with a friend who farms some bottom land along the Tomhannock Creek to grow carrots for us in exchange for the onions and shallots we would grow for him. His is the better farm during dry years, and so it was a hedge against risk. His carrots will be making their way into your shares soon. Our bell peppers and new red potatoes and an arugula planting will also be coming along shortly.
What’s new on the farm
“We’re all Californians now,” said Pete, the fruit farmer we work most closely with. His neighbors have been complaining because he has drawn his irrigation pond so low that it has begun to stink. That can’t be pleasant, but what’s a farmer to do?
Our ponds are empty now, too. Which is to say that we’ve taken them down as low as we are willing to go. It’s necessary to leave some for the wildlife that has come to depend on them. I am curious about the Great Blue heron that travels from pond to pond in our neighborhood. I wonder how the hunting compares to last year when water levels were high. They are an adaptable species. During a particularly wet season a few years ago, a heron would regularly hunt frogs in our flooded back lawn.
Nate and I took a day off yesterday and headed up to Lake Champlain, where we keep an old sailboat. It is a deep lake, and a dip in the water was cold and refreshing. Along the way, the corn crops we saw were spikey and dry, and the soybeans were stunted and wilting. We are not alone in this: much of northern New England is in a severe drought.
We had 12 inches of rain last July. We have not had our first inch so far this July. The weather map shows a storm the size of the state of New York headed our way. But we are on its very southern edge and its trajectory does not look promising. It is sprinkling now, and I am trying to be positive. This is when we find out just how superstitious we might be. We don’t want to say or think anything that would jinx our chances. Hiliberto says “it is what it is,” which I find hard to argue with but not especially satisfying.
Fear not – vegetable production at Windflower Farm will not grind to a halt. The new pump in the Hill Field well is working well, and last week’s delivery of thousands of feet of new line is redistributing the water from our primary well to those corners of the farm that were previously served by our ponds. We’ll get through this, and we’ll be better prepared for the next dry spell.
Have a great week, Ted