On the Farm- September 28th
It was quite, moist, and warm in the field this morning. I heard someone on the radio say that this has been the driest summer farmers remember. I believe it. It has certainly been the driest summer I have ever had farming any land. Wet summers are accompanied by rot in greens, rampant disease pressure, slow ripening and subdued flavors. Dry summers allow melons and tomatoes to ripen early and with full complex flavors, but the flavors of lettuce and other greens are also stronger, even bitter if they really do not get enough water. Disease and rot do not spread and thrive as much without continual moisture, but insect pressure increase- the flea beetles, cabbage worms, and potato leaf-hoppers we all prolific this season.
After some hopeful chances of rain last week, which never amounted to significant moisture, we finally had a rainy day yesterday. I fell like there will be a bursting forth in the following days. Plants that held their energy in, conserving, will relax their tight grip on the soil. Roots will flex out and draw water in, leaves will expand out. Our fall spinach will go from its first true leaves to a cluster of tender greens, the green of the broccoli with deepen, Brussels sprouts will swell.