It’s been a rather dull, gloomy, stormy…WET…week here on the hill.
After all the worry over being too dry, by the end of the week it was a sloppy, sodden mess. Although nothing compared to other parts of the state. Some places reportedly got over 7 inches of rain from a single storm! And, Lynchburg, VA faced the very real possibility of a dam collapse at one point during the week of rain. Thankfully, it looks like things will be drying out in the coming week.
|view across the valley|
|guard dogs in the fog|
|queens anne's lace at sunrise|
Extreme shifts in weather bring on new problems. Since this year has been one shift after another, it should come as no surprise that we are experiencing different issues than ever before. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen the Boss shake his head and say, “I’ve never seen anything quite like that!” so many times in a single season.
|looks like a mouse or other small rodent|
has been having a cucumber feast
However, on one of my forays through the gardens it was more of the “same-old, same-old” that got my attention. The broccoli had been looking pretty good last week and many customers were awaiting its return to the Market...
But, the shift in weather had brought on a surge in the harlequin beetle population. And, not to be indelicate or indiscreet, but there was a regular “orgy” going on there in the broccoli, assuring that in the next week there were would be even more beetles and the broccoli would be obliterated.
|beetles in broccoli|
|insect damage to broccoli leaves|
So, the Boss put his grilling plans on hold and headed out to do battle with the beetles. Time was of the essence. (and rain was in the forecast)
And, that got me thinking about the number one topic at the market.
Well, that’s probably not quite true. It's not just spraying... But, not a week goes by that I don’t have some conversation about crop production with someone. (and some people ask me the same question every single week---I kid you not)
Spraying, pesticide use, organic production and chemicals are bound to come up at some point. It seems that a lot of people are misinformed and scared. I’ve written countless posts about these topics, but I guess it can’t hurt to cover it one more time.
Read this one, it has a funny story about my childhood in it.
This is an open letter to Market customers.
It seems I’ve been writing about this stuff for a LONG time. (and somewhat amazingly, I haven’t actually gone CRAZY yet...tell my family to stop laughing)
The very much abbreviated version is this:
-Spraying is simply an application method. In and of itself, spraying cannot be bad. It’s what comes out of the sprayer.
-There are organic pesticides. Don’t believe me? Read
-Chemicals are not intrinscially “good” or “bad”, they are building blocks. And, make up absolutely every single thing in this world. Nothing is ever “chemical-free”! (the same goes for hormones)
-And, pesticides must be toxic. That is, they must be toxic to the targeted pest. (otherwise they would be ineffective) This does not mean that they indeed have the same effect on the human body.
-Without some knowledgeable intervention on the part of farmers, there would be very little, if any, food for human consumption.
-All that being said, the efficacy of any type of pesticide is not long-lasting. (that means it doesn’t last long) And, there are regulations about any residues.
Now, before anybody wants to yell at me, send me mean and nasty messages (and, yes, I do get those) or tell me that I am part of the problem…please understand that I am only attempting to give you the facts and alleviate some of your fear.
Knowledge is power, people.
|beautiful broccoli after the rain|
The fact is a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits and proteins is necessary to good health.
It takes some knowledgeable folks utilizing all sorts of farming methods to provide the products necessary.
And, I’m leaving that one right there.
|cows at daybreak|
We ended up dodging raindrops for the rest of the week as we attempted to get some planting done and get ready for Market.
|we made a quick trip to the processor's to pick up the latest batch of lamb|
this truck is BLACK SHEEP trucking
|the Boss working on his latest experiment|
|close-up of the "experiment"|
|looks like a failed science experiment|
but, this is part of saving seeds for next year
|"hey, I think she forgot to shut the gate!"|
(I didn't...they're just not real bright)
|another round of storms|
|found a thirsty Monarch in the driveway|
|I think it encountered a dog paw|
(see the big white hair on it?)
|after another rain shower|
|it seemed to recover nicely|
|here comes more rain!|
|be it ever so humble...|
there's no place like home
|It's Friday evening...|
and I think the rain is finally ending
The weather cleared, and the Market had an amazing day.
|on the way to Market|
Any fears that the Market was “off” and that things had changed vanished as the customers flocked through in droves. It may have been because it was tax-free weekend in Virginia, or maybe because school starts in the upcoming week…or maybe just because everyone was feeling good because it finally stopped raining.
Whatever the reason, it was a busy morning and there was very little left at the end of Market. This is a good news-bad news kind of thing. Few leftovers mean everyone had a good sales morning. (YAY) But, it also means that there is very little to give to the local lunch program that gleans market leftovers to provide for their “guests” during the upcoming week. (that always makes me feel a little sad)
If you’d like to “visit” the Market virtually, be sure to check out this link to the Boss’ photos on Facebook.
|beautiful Sunday sunrise|
I realize I always end my posts the same way with “Happy Sunday”. But, today, I will close this one by saying:
HAPPY RAM DAY!
(yes, that does say RAM day)
|in celebration of "happy ram day"|
lamb sausage and pancakes
Strawberry syrup from Malcolm's Market Garden
For a little clarification you can read this one.(our methods have changed slightly since this post)
So, I hope you’ll excuse me. We’re off to make Angus very happy and get started on the lambchop crop of 2019.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful week. Come back and “visit” us again soon.
National Farmers’ Market week starts today. Be sure to visit your local Market at some point this week to support those local farmers. And, check back to see if I actually finish my series that I intend to post to mark this occasion. (I’m trying…I’m really trying…)
Have a great week, y’all!