Ask what folks are up to this time of year and you may hear about a day at the beach, a weekend getaway, or a week “upta camp”. But what are we farmers doing? Everything’s growing, right? Isn’t this is a time for farmers to sit back?
With warm temperatures, lots of sun, and weekly rain, everything is growing like crazy, including the weeds. So what are we up to at Pietree? Now that most of the major planting is completed, tractors are mowing. We’re trellising tomatoes to support the swelling fruit and hilling potatoes. We are pulling strawberry blossoms from new plants, just as we remove blossoms from young apple trees in the spring, so that the whole plant puts its energy into healthy roots. Every field benefits from weeding.
Whole crops or significant parts of crops can be lost to weeds. We try and maintain our fields with as little spraying as possible. Yet in two of the fields we underestimated just how critical that first year of establishment was for the strawberry plants (we didn’t weed like we should have), and have lost those two fields to weeds. Having learned our lesson, we are diligently weeding and tending the newly planted fields!
The lessons we glean from farming each season keep us humble. We keep growing, just as our fields do! With perseverance and a dose of good humor, we grow better each and every season!