September by Sue@Lmu
September has flown by. It’s got to be the dryest hottest September we’ve had since we started this project in 2010. (Not to mention it’s also the hottest driest spring and summer too) Maybe we got an inch of rain the whole month. So it’s been a huge challenge to plant fall plants and seeds and keep them alive. We have to water daily. Most of the cabbage plants are doing pretty well but the things we’ve planted from seed in the ground are struggling. Actually the 1st seeds (mustards and spinach) we planted in late August just didn’t come up.They would be much happier with rain. They are also being attacked by Harlequin beetles. First I tried spraying with neem oil which didn’t kill any bugs as far as I can tell however it may have stopped reproduction as I don’t see many young bugs. So this week I started squishing them. When I’m done watering if I go down the row of mustard’s and cabbage family plants they come to the top of the leaves and are easy to squish. I found way less today than when I started squishing Monday.
The high tunnel tomatoes are coming on again. Yeah!!!! We planted lettuce, Tat Soi, Pak Choi, and Bok Choi in one of our greenhouses and we are beginning to harvest it. I used lots of the Choi’s to do a stir fry demo at this weeks meeting. We also had lot’s of green tomatoes from clearing the field to get the fall cover crop in so I found 3 fun recipes to try for the group with them: Green tomato Chutney, Sweet green tomato cornmeal muffins and Green tomato cake. All were enjoyed by the group.
Except for the peppers, okra and pumpkins and squash we have all the summer crops out of the fields and Bill has them all planted in his cover crop mix. He’s trying rye, crimson clover, forage radish and winter peas this year. We dug a few sweet potatoes but they were very small. I’m pretty sure it’s been too dry of a summer for them. We left the rest in and have been watering them in hopes that if the frost holds off they will put on weight.
The picture above about the Heart to Heart program is a program the medical students do with a local group of 3rd and 4th graders to encourage healthy living. This month they brought them to the garden to see how the ingredients for salsa are grown and then they made salsa with our fresh ingredients. They had a lot of fun. We loved hearing them ask to try tomatoes and peppers before they went into the salsa and getting to pick their own cilantro for it.