News from St. Isidore Farm!

Farmer Bob Lober sent us the following update on St. Isidore Farm. Read all the way through to see what’s coming from St. Isidore this season:

2012 – little or no winter and extreme heat and drought.
2013 – to-date – extended winter season, no spring and lots of water.
2013 has started as a very challenging year.  As you can see from the following pictures, our 11 year old high tunnel
(20’ X 96’) collapsed during one of the last winter storms.  I was in the high tunnel all morning double digging and my son Daniel was in there double digging up to ½ hour before it collapsed.

                                Collapsed High Tunnel – February

                                                                           Rebuilt High Tunnel – today
My son Nicholas came home from college on Spring break.  He took a break from college however he spent the time bending the bows back into shape and burying 4X6 oak beams to support  the bows.  This should not happen again.  We plan on putting the cover back on as soon as it is warm and calm.  Hopefully this year!

Mustard Greens – This is a dual purpose crop.  Obviously it is good to eat.  I also use it as a cover crop to add organic matter to the soil and fumigate for bad bugs in the soil.  Right now I have about ¼ acre planted outside.  I should have a good supply for the next few months.

Baby Beets – Chioggia, Gold and Red – I have a good crop in my high tunnel, however it won’t go too far.  The beets I have planted outside are only about ½” tall so there may be a gap in production.
Head Lettuce – I have trialed some new hybrid lettuces: Green Butterhead, Red Incised and Red Freise. Should be available in 2 weeks.
More Lettuce Varieties: Lil Gem, Arugula – this lettuce does not like getting it’s feet wet.  I plant every week starting in April.  I will probably have to till under the first two plantings and maybe more.  It will be available when the weather becomes drier.
Baby white turnips – looks like a good crop this spring.
Spring Onions – available in 3-4 weeks
Spring Garlic – available in 3-4 weeks – limited supply.

Summer Crops
Savoy Cabbage – I have a lot planted however it is not growing fast.  Probably available July.
Carrots – I have planted twice.  First planting 50% germination.  Second planting – 0% germination.  I will plant again next week.  Probably available in July.
Fennel – I have planted twice – no germination to-date.  I will keep trying.
Cucumbers and Summer Squash – Recently planted – probably available in July.
Onions – Candy and Red Torpedo – Growing well
Peppers – Jalapeno and Poblano – I will transplant outside next week.  Available July.
Tomatoes and tomatillas – Red and Yellow slicers, Heirloom, Sun Gold and Juliette – They have not grown much to-date but look very healthy.  I project early July for any real quantity of tomatoes.  The mustard leaf fumigation and the double digging in the high tunnels should improve my production and quality.
Mint and Oregano – available now.
Basil – green, thai and red – I will transplant outside next week.  Available early July.