‘Hot town, summer at the farm
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the fields’
‘I can't stop the rain
From falling down on you again
I can't stop the rain
But I will hold you’
The Sahara like conditions of July was followed by copious amounts of rain. The combined impact on all farms in the general Northeast area has been significant. And farms in upstate NY and Vermont have been especially devastated. Each season brings its own weather related challenges, and this year has been no exception. So, regardless of where you live, the next time you go to your local farmers’ market, give a shout out of appreciation to the farmer from whom you are buying your produce. It will most definitely be appreciated.
Specific to Z Food Farm: various plants in the ground were toasted. Germination in the green house was too often poor. With the passing of the heat the persistent rain of August has contributed to the early demise of tomatoes and a couple of other items. Last season David had a decent amount of various tomatoes through the end of September into early August. As of now, tomato season is over. This is simply part of the challenge faced by all farmers and is not specific to Z Food Farm.
There is much over which a farmer has control, but the critical factor of weather is something that no farmer can do anything about. With that said, some farmers have high tunnels (unheated green houses) in their fields. This allows the farmer to plant directly in the ground in a semi-protected environment thus providing the farmer an opportunity to minimize some of the effects of extreme weather. The high tunnel also allows a farmer to get some items into the ground a little sooner and to keep things in the ground a little later. David’s plan is to put up a high tunnel prior to the start of farm season 2012. The anticipation for next years season has already started.
Bits and pieces: Last season the last farm stand market was the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. The last market at Rittenhouse Square was the first Saturday of December. That is the goal for this season as well, with the inclusion of the New Amsterdam Market. We’ll see if the weather cooperates.
News about the Lawrenceville Farmers’ Market- David has participated in the Lawrenceville Farmers’ Market since its inception in 2005- first as an intern with Cherry Grove Organic Farm, then as manager of Gravity Hill Farm, and currently as farmer/proprietor of Z Food Farm. It is sad to report that the Lawrenceville Market has come to an end. Attendance at the market has been dwindling the past few years and it reached a point where it was decided that maintaining the market was not in the best interests of the various vendors. Thanks to all who brought the market into existence, to those who worked to make the market a success, to the vendors who supported and encouraged each other, and, most importantly, to you who have supported David and the other vendors by doing some of your shopping at the market. We hope to see you at the farm on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Support your local farmer. Eat healthy.