I finally removed the row cover from 2 double rows of brassicas. On the left is primarily cabbage and on the right is brussel sprouts (with a few red cabbages in the front). They are looking great! Some of the cabbages were damaged early on from some insect or other. That seems to have caused them to branch out and start forming several tiny heads instead of one big one. I think that is bad so I’ve been removing the side shoots and hopefully it’s not too late for the main head to still form. Cabbage is relatively new to me with last year being the first time I’ve really grown it. The brussel sprouts are forming up nicely with some seeming to be ready to harvest even. I haven’t done this before, but apparently you can get them to size up evenly if you cut out the growing point at the top of the plant. I’m really not sure when the right time is to do that so I may experiment a bit with it this year.
I also uncovered a long row of broccoli and cauliflower. It’s looking really nice now too and it looks like there will be a more significant broccoli harvest for the CSA shares this week. I did find some cabbage maggots on broccoli that wasn’t covered though so after some thought, I decided to recover the broccoli and cauliflower. I’m not sure whether the cabbage and b-sprouts should be covered again or not. It’s a lot of work and makes it hard to monitor when they are ready. I’m tempted to leave them uncovered, but neither do I want an infestation of cabbage worms.
The thing about melons, at least in this climate, is that the harvest season is quite short. So now that I’ve planted a lot more of them I guess I shouldn’t be surprised with this:
Notice the conjoined twin in the back of the right bin. Weird. So needless to say, CSA shares will get a bunch of melons this week and we are eating a lot of them now. We cut some of our melons last year up into cubes and froze them. That worked fairly well and we’ll probably do that again this year. The plants are dying off for the most part right now. I might harvest another bin from then, but that might be it. The “canary” type melons are looking nice but showing no signs of being ripe yet. In the boxes above you see mostly small “butterscotch” type melons (the light green with some yellowish markings). There are some cantaloupe in the box on the right and in the left box at the bottom are some honeydew melons that actually look like cantaloupe on the outside (they are the orange, netted melons at the bottom).
Watermelons have been a bit of a disappointment so far. I’ve harvested 4 so far and 2 of them were not too ripe. We ate one last week that was fabulous. There are still a lot of them out there, but I can’t really tell if they are ripe or not and the plants are also dying off.
I took this picture right after closing the chickens up at night. It’s funny to see them pressed against the front window of the coop. About half of them are still doing that which seems to be something the young chickens do. Once their older they seem to figure out the roosting spots are better for birds:
Note that it was quite dark by this point in the coop and the chickens couldn’t really see much. I did have a bucket of vegetable trimmings that they must have been able to smell, because the 3 older hens came running out to me (you see one of them about to jump in the picture).