Archive for July, 2012

July 23, 2012

A farmer’s perspective 07/23/2012

Dahinda, IL: I have had to put planting of fall crops on hold since the 100 + degree temperatures continue. Seeds will not sprout in that high of a temperature. Later this week it is supposed to cool down and maybe I will be able to get something in at that time. Tomatoes, for some reason, are not ripening for me or for many others here in Western Illinois. Peppers are doing fine but I am sure that the yield would hve been higher if there was more rain. The National Weather Service has said that this weather pattern is supposed to hold on until the end of October! I am laying in a supply of hay early this year. One reason is the fact that no rain means no grass for our livestock to eat. Another reason, of course, is that there may be no hay for the rest of thei year! Better to get it now than find out that there is no hay later down the road!

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July 16, 2012

A farmer’s perspective 7/16/2012

Dahinda, IL:  Although there was a little rain, 1/10″, over the weekend, it is still very dry. We really need a good soaking rain to bring the rainfall amounts up to normal. Hopefully we will get more before I start planting fall crops but we will be back in the upper 90’s this week.  I tried several different types of eggplant this year in our hoophouse. The eggplant does better in the hoophouse since it seem that the pests that attack eggplant, such as flea beetles, do not like the hoop house environment.

The eggplant varieties that seem to do the best in the hoophouse are the Italian varieties, several of the white types and a long green variety called Louisiana Long Green Eggplant. Apparently the Louisiana Long Green Eggplant is less bitter than the normal black varieties. I have never tried them before but they seem to be the most vigorous out of the bunch this year. We should start to see them in the CSA bags in the next couple of weeks.

The Melrose Peppers that we have will be coming on strong very soon. Melrose is a variety developed by Italian truck farmers in the Chicago area, especially in Melrose Park,  about a century ago. The variety we have was bred to be larger than the normal Melrose by a man in Melrose Park, Illinois.  Our tomato crop seems to be stalled. It is probably due to the lack of rain. There are many fruits on the vine but they do not seem to want to get ripe. They should start ripening soon and we will have a lot then!

July 9, 2012

A farmer’s perspective 7/9/2012:

Dahinda, IL: We are working hard to prepare to replant much of the garden that has been ravaged by this year’s drought! I am going to do more zucchini, carrots, broccoli raab, and other fall garden types. The tomatoes and peppers are still coming but they have been slow due to the 100+ temperatures oner the past week or so.

Russia, India and few other major agricultural countries are also having droughts. Some of them multi-year droughts. In the past, I would say that this is a great time to be farming because the price of food is going to go through the roof. It would normally be a lot cheaper to grow it yourself in years such as these. But since it has been so rough this year in this country as well, I am not so sure!

July 3, 2012

A farmer’s perspective 7/2/2012

Dahinda, IL: This past week we got a little rain. This is great but it does not mean the drought is over. This summer so far I have lost my carrot, spinich, swiss chard, and chinese cabbage crops due to the dry weather and the high temperatures. Much of the cucumber, squash, and lettuce have been slow to come or, in the case of the lettuce, bolted early. Tomatoes are coming along as are peppers and I am going to make another try at a late crop of carrots,zucchini, and other crops. This week we are not going to get a break. It will be in the upper 90’s all week! Hopefully we will continue to get rain, and break the drought, in spite of the hot weather!