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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

July 10th and 13th: The Sprayer

The Backpack Sprayer

Sometimes I feel like this tool becomes a permanent attachment to my back during the growing season.  We have 2 have them, both gifted to us actually from friends who no longer needed them, and many times we have used both of them at once.  While the tank holds 4 gallons of mix, many times it takes 2,3 or even 4 refills before we finish spaying what is needed, especially as the plants get bigger.

While most people think "organic" means no spray, there are indeed insecticides labeled for organic use.  We use them as a last resort (next to crop rotation, remay, soil health and hand squishing), but at times we do use them.  I also use the sprayer for liquid fish fertilizer to give the plants a boost.  Or, like in this photo, we sprayed Surround, a kaolin clay, to help "hide" the pumpkins from beetles and the corn from crows.  I have also used this tool to water in plants after transplanting during really hot spells.  I have often dreamed of a sprayer that I wouldn't have to hand pump, or one that would spray further so I didn't have to walk so much, but this one is quiet and versatile and I am thankful we have it...both of them...because then I can put Zach to work too.

Less humidity was welcomed these past few days!  I think the lettuce is breathing a sigh of relief too. With this heat following all the rain we had, most plants are looking robust.  I harvest my first cucumbers from the hoophouse this week...and the first few tomatoes out of the field.  I saw half inch long summer squash in the gardens and carrots were going to be in this week's share, but I ran out of harvest time.  It will still be bit before I gather enough cukes, squashes and tomatoes for everyone, but there is hope in sight!

ICE CREAM ICE CREAM we all scream for ICE CREAM!!!
3rd annual, eat a cone and donate to a good cause!
July 17th and 19th pick ups
The PYO garden is in full swing!  Ther are a few snow peas out there, along with basil, parsley, other herbs and lots of flowers!!! open.  $3/lb.  There aren't tons right now, so please just CSA members only :)
This week's harvest: lettuce, beet greens, gold ball turnips, scallions, garlic scapes, peas for those who missed out last week....and a few other treats here and there...
Next week: lettuce, chard, turnips, carrots!
Scallions:  Use the whole plant.  Mild onion flavor.  Enjoy raw or cooked!

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