June is here and soon the fireflies will be lighting up our farm fields with their late night disco parties. Their bioluminescent displays arrive in the weeks flanking the summer solstice (which happens to be our own deadline for getting transplants out into fields). When the fireflies arrive, it feels like they’re celebrating with us. “This part of the season represents a turn towards upkeep (weeding) and managing what we worked so hard to start from seed,” Steven Crist, our Farm Manager, tells us. “For me, it's a joyous time. Stage one is complete. The plants are in the ground and now we have to guide them through their life cycle.”
June on the farm is when we see lots of flowers emerge, and the first overwintered Kale
and Broccoli Raab
varieties are harvested for seed. “With the majority of our direct sown and transplanted seed crops in the ground, the farm vision is truly starting to take shape,” Steven says. “There are thousands and thousands of bed feet beginning to come to life!” This week we are transplanting the remainder of our cucumber and squash varieties, which entails lots of compost and soil amendments
, mulch to create weed-free sprawling spaces, and hoops and row cover to protect the plants from cucumber beetles.
Over at our trials farm, Farmer Katie Wong notes the Alliums in bloom and the Irises "standing nice and tall after last weekend's hard rain." In the coming weeks, Katie says, "we'll be irrigating lots to keep the plants healthy during the anticipated hot days ahead, and I'll begin trellising the Tomatoes
.” Indeed, much of what we do on the farm in June holds true for the home gardener. With that in mind, here are a few home gardening tips for the month: