This season has been the best growing season for us overall. All the compost we have spread and no till processes we have implemented are now shining through in our veggies. More soil biology = more flavor and storage life.
We have had some losses but overall they have been overshadowed by the tremendous harvests of staple crops like tomatoes, salad mixes and lettuce, carrots, and onions.
What has gone well is the way we plant our tomatoes early in late April and nailed our carrots seedings and germination.
What has not gone as planned is the gopher damage we delt with in the gardens that abut the woods. We are happy to report nature is balancing as a family of foxes has moved in and eaten the gophers up. You may notice our broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage offering were much more limited than in previous years. We only achieved one good round of early broccoli, then every other round was eaten to a stub by the resident gophers. We tried to eradicate them but nothing worked quite like the foxes:) On the bright side we do have a round of fall storage cabbages and brussel sprouts that evaded the gophers radar and survived until our furry friends arrived.
We also had trouble with the extreme hot weather. Normally we transplant some crops under row cover to block out the pesky flea beetles that eat holes in some leaves right through the summer. This year those crops got scorched in the sun even as our irrigation systems have improved! That has never happened before and we will be redesigning this practice for next year. This is how we lost our summer and fall rounds of kale and our beloved watermelons:(
On the flip side the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, salad, carrots, and just about everything else. We are really convinced that all the fungal networks that get let in tact and encouraged on the farm allow crops to establish symbiotic relationships with the soil biology and access micro and macro nutrients making the food taste soooo good because they are packed with healthy phytonutrients. Some of you may have read about the precipitous decline in the nutrient content of supermarket food in the last 50 years, well this style of farming allows plants to act as part of a whole soil ecology and reverse that trend one farm at a time.
Thanks again to all of our community for trusting in us and allow us to provide you with the best, fresh, delicious and local produce. We will continue through the next season with the same aim and positive attitude. With hope and gratitude,
The Ananda Gardens Farmily