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From the Farm: Summer Harvest & Unexpected Visitors


Well folks, the dog days of summer are upon us and the heat is really starting to take its toll on farmers and their summer crops. If you didn’t have adequate irrigation this year, you were probably disappointed by the majority of your summer harvest production. Along with other local produce growers, we also feel for farmers in the beef cow business this year. Pastures are looking pretty sparse right now and most growers are starting to supplement their livestock diet due to insufficient grazing forage. Enough about the heat though, everyday above ground is a good one right!? The great thing about farming is that there is always a new season, and a fresh start right around the corner.

After a lot of hard work by our farm crew, we were finally able to catch up and get our grass and weeds under control. Our second planting of tomatoes is starting to bloom and freshly planted purple hull peas are looking great so far. We cultivated our peanuts and sweet potatoes, which now have enough vegetation to provide significant ground cover and shade out the majority of newly sprouted weeds. I mentioned a few months ago that our first planting of okra had been decimated by deer, but as you can see from the picture, our second planting looks beautiful and is really starting to put out the okra! Our eggplants and peppers are still setting fruit, and we're going to pump one more round of fish emulsion fertilizer through our drip system so that they will continue to produce summer crops through August.

If you want to get a jump on fall planting, it's time to start filling up seed trays with some of the longer-to-mature crops such as cabbage and broccoli. It helps to provide a slight degree of shade through the use of a shade cloth this time of year when starting cool season crops like these.

summer harvestOn a different note, one of the best things about working the land is getting to experience so many intricacies of the natural world. From weather patterns to insect life cycles, and everything in between. A couple of weeks ago, a Farmview team member was walking through our tomato patch one evening and heard a rustling as she walked past the tomato plants. She thought perhaps it was a rabbit, but noticed a nicely formed nest. Inside one of the plants was what appeared to be 3 eastern bluebird eggs! This team member continued to walk down the row to inspect the crops, and smiled as she heard the mother bird flutter back to the nest. If you have your tomatoes in cages as we do, they can become pretty cozy hideaways as the plants reach maturity! Remember to take the time to take in your surroundings as you work the land; you never know what you may find as you gather your summer harvest.

Brad manages our farm operations, which include our certified naturally grown farm outside Madison and the Kelly family’s plantation in Leesburg, Ga, known as Rock House Farm. Rock House Farm produces grass-fed beef, heritage Berkshire hogs, and two varieties of heirloom corn, among other crops.