Note from Farmer Al: April 9, 2018

Dear CSA Members,

People meet want to know how this April rain affects our crops. The answer is “it’s all good!”

1)     Free Irrigation. At this stage of growth that’s a big deal. It frees up lots of manpower for weed control. Weed control, for us, is weed-whacking, which is very labor intensive, especially this year of rampant read growth in the wake of all these spring rains we’ve been getting.

2)     Free Nitrogen. Rainwater picks up nitrogen as it passes through the atmosphere (which is composed of 75% nitrogen in various forms), which is absorbed directly into the leaves of the trees. I’ve always noticed a flush of dark green growth right after a rain.

3)     Free Mildew Control. Powdery Mildew is a big problem on peaches, nectarines, and plums. It causes ugly cosmetic scarring on the skins of the fruit. Normally we have to spray some kind of sulfur (allowed by organic rules) to prevent it. The rain actually scrubs off the mildew spores from the skin of the fruits.

So yes, I’m very thankful for all this rain. It also gives me the opportunity to catch up on the never-ending burden of paperwork piling up on my desk.

All the best,

Farmer Al