My pleas for rain have grown louder and a bit more desperate this week. After the difficult growing year last year, I vowed to not shed another tear over the weather. So, this year I am taking a more positive outlook and controlling what I can control. I continue to irrigate and build organic matter in the soil, which help to hold water in dry summers. But the soil is dry (and dusty) and feels very hot as we assess soil moisture and get ready to plant Fall transplants. I am hesitant to put any plants in the ground as I know they will become stressed immediately, and we could lose them. And while we are irrigating as much as we can, there is a limit as how much water can be distributed in a given week. We are now going into our 6th week without any significant rainfall -- we have received 3/4 inch total! To put this into perspective, vegetables require an inch of rain EACH week for optimal growth. Now you can understand their (and my!) stress.
Valuable time is spent away from weeding and tending to the crops as we lay thousands of feet of additional drip lines, turn on and off valves, fix leaks, and flush the filter system to keep the lines clear of any silt and dirt. I often remark that it would be so much easier if it would just rain!Despite this, we really do have a bounty each week. The cucumber and squash are plentiful with millions of blossoms, the tomatoes have beautiful green fruit, and the beets and carrots are deliciously sweet. As we are finishing up with Spring broccoli, we are starting to harvest tender, sweet cabbage and cauliflower. Peas are on their way out, as predicted, and we are gearing up for the big garlic harvest! You are all welcome to come out for this major harvest, we will announce the date and time soon, and we will plan for a fun evening of harvest followed by snacks and refreshing beverages!