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Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update for August 3, 2018 -- Row, Row, Row Your Ark...

Posted 8/12/2018 11:04am by Cheryl.

Hello Farm Friends!  Happy Friday!  Welcome August!
A strange beginning to the month.  About the only bits of sunshine we've seen around here since last weekend came from these:

And unfortunately we've been feeling more like this:

It's kinda hard being solar-powered beings on days like these!
And unfortunately it isn't made any better hobbling around with this:

Sigh... it could be MUCH worse!  But it's not exactly how I had hoped to spend the last week of our Summer Pause!

But we have been getting things done - especially in the greenhouse as it is too wet to do much outside.

Ray and Jonny got the greenhouse tomatoes ready for their "lower and lean."  This method allows us to shift or lean the tomato vine over while it is trellised (and supported) and to lower it so that we are able to continue to harvest fruit without using ladders.  This is a fairly common method in many greenhouses and high tunnels for both tomatoes and cucumbers.  We are trying this approach for the first time.  It's taken a while for me to wrap my head about the mechanics of it but I think I understand it now!  Check it out!

Ray and Jonny are moving the tomato vine to the left.  The plant is trellised from a pipe hung about 7 feet high.  So the vine was shifted over about 4 feet and given more trellis line so now the vine is lower than it was originally.  This will encourage more growth and fruiting.

Here's the row of tomatoes afterwards.  It looks a little weird (kinda like a funhouse mirror!) but everything we've read touts its effectiveness!  Fingers crossed!  We are also doing the same thing with cucumbers in the high tunnel.

So why are we doing this?  As the season goes on, tomato (and cucumber) vines grow longer and longer, and produce new fruit near the ends (at the top).  Since our tomatoes have been growing since February, they're 10-12' tall with flowers at the top and bare stems at the bottom (It's a good thing they're tied to trellis line!)  But it's kinda hard to tend and harvest 12' in the air! So that's were the "lower and lean" method comes into play -- if we lean them over, the tops get lower and Voila!  We can get more tasty tomatoes!  That's your farming lesson for today!


Did you know that August has more National Holidays than any other month?  Well, it does!  Set your sights on a few coming up this weekend:

  • Today is National Watermelon Day!  Did you know that watermelon is 92% water? No wonder it’s so refreshing! People have been digging into this tasty, juicy fruit for millennia, and it all started in Ancient Egypt. It’s said that watermelon cultivation began in the Nile Valley as early as the second millennium B.C. Watermelon seeds were even found in King Tut’s tomb! 
  • Tomorrow is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! We sure do love our cookies, and on National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day we honor the most beloved cookie of them all. When she was in high school, Cheryl baked batch after batch of these goodies for friends and family -- even winning a ribbon at the fair! Shhhh!  Don't tell Ray!
  • Sunday is National Work Like a Dog Day!  We've know some pretty busy canines in our time -- excavations seem to be the specialty...

And last but not least, we can't forget National Farmers Market Week (August 5-11).  Celebrate all of the wonderful things about the markets (and farmers) you love!

That does it for now!  

Until next week,

Cheryl & Ray

It's Time to Think Garlic!

Mark your calendar for our popular Growing Great Garlic at Home workshop!  If you have always wanted to grow garlic but need some advice to get going or want to improve your skills, this is just the ticket!  It will be held here at the farm on Sunday, October 14 from 2-5!  The class fee is $35 and includes a 1/2 pound bag of seed garlic. For a registration form, click here.

Our Online Store is Ready to Serve You!

Our online store is fully stocked and waiting for your orders! Click here to go right to the shelves.  You'll find our popular fruit-forward Jams (regular and gift-size jars), Garlic Powder and Granules as well as our new Ginger Powder and Lavender Sachets!  

Do you want the latest news from the farm? How about the opportunity to reserve items for pick-up at market? Join our mailing list for our "Plum Granny Farm Weekly Update"!