Is it August already? We had quite a summer! Everything started out normal in the field. It was late May, and we were ready to plant. We chose a date right before some forecasted rain – perfect. This was the second year to use our unique pumpkin planter. We planted about 3 1/2 acres of pumpkins, and waited for the rains. It rained. The plants sprouted and looked great. Then we started to wait for our next rain…. We waited and waited and waited for about 7 weeks for our next substantial rain.
Although pumpkins love the sun, they also love the water, and it was obvious they weren’t getting any. The plants were showing signs of stress.
So we went into “save the pumpkin” mode! We began trenching the pumpkin rows and using flood irrigation- a long, hot process in the 100+ degree weather.
We also rented bees this summer to aide in the pollination process. Bees are the best pollinators, so we had two hives moved out by the patch. The flowers developed a little late because of the drought, but once they came on, the bees could be seen busily doing their job all over the field.
Guinea Hens were another addition to the farm this year. They are our organic “squash bug patrol.” I’m not sure they are 100% effective yet, but they are fun to have around. You should have seen us herding them down to the patch, the first morning we let them out of the coop. Never thought I’d be a bird herder.
Next came weeding. Amazing how weeds grow in drought! We have a great group of guys (plus my two children) who met me out in the field early in the mornings for weeding. This is a long and tedious process, but the rows look great when they are finished. Thanks guys!