September 27, 2016

It’s autumn already but with this heat you would think it’s mid-summer. We had the hottest day of the year on Monday with some triple digit readings including on our Ocean St Extension farm. Our thoughts are now with those who live up in the Loma Prieta area who are dealing with the wildfire that started yesterday afternoon.  We are hoping that everyone stays safe and that the fire is put out soon!

On Sunday it was around 96° out on the farm for our last farm dinner of the year, with over a hundred guests attending. The shade was provided by chestnut trees that kept things comfortable enough along with the great food creations of Kendra Baker and her team from Assembly and the amazing wines from Denis Hoey’s of Odonata Wines.

During the reception and tour, Louise Jackson, a researcher from UC Davis shared some of the results and insights of her trials of organic dry-farmed tomato patches done in different parts of California. It is eye-opening and encouraging to get some actual science behind the different growing methods and practices on farms such as ours, who are committed to using sustainable organic practices and diverse cropping systems. Walking from the reception area to the orchard put us out in direct sun for a bit, so we tried to keep the tour concise due to the heat but there always seems to be more to say.

The evening temperatures cooled somewhat and made dining under the chestnut tree very magical. We are so lucky to have all the great people, great conversations and sensuous food and drink all put together outdoors on the farm…it doesn’t get much better!

We are shifting into fall mode now: digging lots of potatoes, onions and beets. The lack of fog is welcome as that last bout we had created quite a bit of mildew on the leafy crops we grow. That’s not a problem now as we are looking at year to date high temperatures and with the cooler nights coming there will be less humidity as well.

We have decided to start some cover cropping early but are also going to gamble on some winter lettuce plantings. If it ends up being a dry winter we can still get in the ground very early in the spring since the current cover crop will be mature before Christmas time.  Ripe Hachiya persimmons are already turning up here and there so maybe they are a sign of winter coming a little bit earlier this year.  We shall see….