Sunday, June 02, 2013

Foraging...

My figs are really late this year, but there's an abundance of them hanging in the tree, probably more than a hundred. They ripen suddenly, going from small, hard and green to swollen and chartreuse over the course of a few days. I like them best when very, very ripe.

In the past, because it was immature, the tree--an Alma--has dropped most of the fruit. This year it's not dropped any, and every day brings another couple of ripe figs. I assume at some point a larger crop will mature. Interestingly, it continues to set new fruit. This is my only fig, so I don't have a framework for expectations... I guess we'll see.

The blueberry crop this year is pretty good, too. Very late--typically mid-May marks the end of the crop. I recently visited a large blueberry farm in Yalaha. The bushes there were huge and so healthy--I decided I need to take better care of my bushes, so I piled on some pine bark, added some sulfur, and once they stop fruiting I'll fertilize them appropriately. The bushes are tough and get by with little care, but I think if I devote some TLC on them, they'll repay the attention.

A few full-size tomatoes, lots of cherries. I have many tomatoes on the vine, but they're ripening very late this year. I'm a little nervous, as the later the harvest, the greater the predation by bugs and various wilts and mildews.

Broccoli and beans are slowing up their production and what they're producing is lower in quality. Typical for this time of the year. I'll probably pull the plants in the next week or so... Eggplants are fruiting, cucumbers are producing (though succumbing to mildew).

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Michael - would you happen to know any organic tips for preventing the mildew on cucumbers? I had 3 beautiful vines full of cucs that were hit hard by mildew. I was still able to harvest plenty of cucumbers . . . but lost the vines too soon.

Michael said...

elizabeth, a couple remarks. first, mechanical: trellising your vines is SO IMPORTANT. i use rebar and conduit--cheap, durable, and really effective: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YYVe3wtIAqk/T46-klqWbhI/AAAAAAAAKpA/8OiuuR1-jW4/s1600/DSC01669.JPG

second, pick off affected leaves.

theoretical: our window for growing everything is short here. make sure that your vines are producing at full capacity when the season is "on," and when diseases and bugs cause problems, rip 'em out and move on to the next crop! i'm lucky if i get cukes from late-april until mid-june. the pickle worm cometh...

chemical: there are a couple organic fungicides. avoid the synthetic stuff--realllllly nasty. serenade is broad spectrum and well regarded. liquid copper is very effective (i use it) and it's pretty safe, though it's not clear to me whether it's organic. (it SHOULD be...)