It seems we have survived the constant downpour, but don't say it too loud, I am not sure that we are in the clear yet. Because of the obscene amounts of rainfall, certain organisms have had great success. Of these, some negatively effect the plants that I have been caring for and urging along. Tomatoes, potatoes, and members of the cucumber family are prime on the the list.
The particular plant heckler that has had most of us vegetable growers on our toes is Late Blight. If you have read of the Irish Potato Famine, then you at least informally know the fungus-like Phytophthora infestans (late blight). Phytophthora means "plant destroyer" and how true it is! Late blight is vicious, can infect tomatoes or potatoes, and thrives in moist conditions between 60 and 80 degrees, or in other words, just what conditions have been like on the farm.
Because the organism can only live on the living tomato and potato plant tissue (and a few other hosts), it primarily overwinters in the south where the it doesn't get cold enough to kill its host plants and, in the northern states, on infected potato tubers. It manages to be reintroduced to the general plant population by sending spores to ride storms from one farm to the next.
It was a little over a week ago that the first incidence of late blight was found in New Jersey, and it is a scary thing. So far, things look good. There are some stress signs on the plants that I wouldn't normally expect to see until a little later in the season, but for the most part, the plants look good. And I seriously don't even know the last time I was this glad to see a few rain-free days coming up (I'll believe it when I see it though, I am getting totally used to my afternoon shower!)
All we can do is be diligent in our care and stick to the program. Within the last week, several of my more seasoned farmer friends have said to me with a snort or a smile, "Welcome to farming!"
Still glad to be doing it...
Also, I tucked in a cute Melon tendril picture up top. I am super excited about the upcoming melons! I hope they survive long enough to indulge us! In the meantime, they look gorgeous!
Hope you had a happy fourth!!!
Fresh from the field this week, despite the soggy conditions:
Parsley sage Oregano chives Thyme
Scapes- last week for sure!
And new this week!!!!
Arugula: Sassy and summer-y. This rügs has got a bite!
Mustard!!! Back for a summer fling, with its wasabi flavor!