Around Star Light Gardens we are of the opinion that July is the best month of the year. Yes, you can argue that there is an inherent bias for those born in this great month. However, ask around and you may find this opinion is shared by many. Whether it’s time spent on the beach, at bbqs, lakeside, or just hanging from a ladder in the sweltering heat stringing wire there is no denying July is the unofficial kick off of summer. Many great things take place around the farm in July. The first trickles of the tomato waterfall, early potatoes, the great garlic harvest, of course all the great thing come at a cost. As farmers July can be a double edged sword. Beautiful working conditions, the beginnings of great harvests, salsa and heirloom tomato sauce to name a few. All these are mirrored by mounting tasks, both new to this week and some leftover from the week before. As growers it’s easy to feel like our backs are up against a wall. There’s plenty to harvest, weed, prep, plant and of course let’s not forget about the fall. As counterintuitive as it seems July and August are when you really have to start planning, planting and prepping for the fall. It doesn’t make sense at first, kinda like when I first understood the winter squash should be in the ground by July at the latest. The fact of the mater is we are past the equinox and into a period of diminishing light. This translates into slower and less growth, which can be really great for somethings that we have had to plant weekly all spring because they will quickly go to seed. It’s also a bit of a last chance to plant for other things that take months to be ready. Let’s save that whole discussion for another time though and just focus on Summer.
Things on the farm(including the temps) are really heating up. Daily harvest of cukes and squash have us both joyful and wondering who’s bright idea it was to plant so much. Lovely stands of flowers are looking particularly lush this year. Is it the weather or Jen’s experiment with living pathways? Hard to know but one thing is for sure, the flowers too will need our daily attention. And yes tomatoes, someone has gently turned on the faucet of these delicious summer treats and we eagerly await the pressure to build. This week promises to be a busy one for us with a fresh compost load being delivered to Durham and a thousand pounds of organic chicken feed coming to Northwest. Delivery slated for Wednesday and with markets the rest of the week we are keeping fingers crossed for no delays. Either way a good deal or stretching and limbering up is in order. We hope that July has treated you good food people well so far and look forward to sharing a great summer with you all.
Have a great week