One thing we try to include in your share each week is some kind of leafy green. Greens are good for you. And there are so many different kinds. We also try to include lettuce mix. Salads are great and easy to throw together.
But growing greens has its challenges. As you have probably noticed, there has not been much lettuce mix for several weeks. Several weeks ago I mentioned the difficulty of hard rains. Heavy rainfall can bruise and damage delicate lettuce leaves. Anyone who has kept lettuce in the fridge for a bit too long knows that rot sets in rather quickly on lettuce. That is why there are so many stories out there about feed illnesses coming from chopped Romaine. But not only is the battering of heavy rain a problem. Extended periods of wet weather can make things worse. Life needs water. We want our soil to remain moist (not wet ) so the plants in the garden can take up as much water as they need. On the other hand, we want the air to remain dry. If you get it mixed up in either direction you will have problems. Dry soil is obviously bad. Moist air is as well. Think about molds and fungus. Mold can kill. It grows when the air is stagnant and moist. Something is out of balance. There are many kinds of destructive molds and fungus's in the garden. If they get a start on some rotting lettuce leaves and the surrounding air never dries out, they will spread and quickly invade other crops.
We have a lot of moisture since the end of August. And little problems that poked their heads in late august have grown in those conditions. All of our lettuce mix beds have succumbed to this. We had a few young plantings that I thought might escape and be ready for these last two weeks are not going to make it.
But lest you imagine that some nice drying wind (to counteract that stagnant moisture) would be a good thing let me tell you about some other issues. The main thing that brings wind is a change in temperature. Typically the more dramatic the change in temperature the more wind you will get. Recently, the temperature dropped almost 30 degrees in one day. There was quite a bit of wind. Now, we can handle some cold temps. We cover our crops with row covers. But that night almost all the row covers were torn off by the wind leaving most things exposed to the cold temps that followed.
The arugula in your share this week is from one of our beds that was salvageable. Before the wind, that bed was beautiful and weed free. The kind of crop that is so alive and vibrant and orderly in its little rows, that you can hardly stop staring at it. It makes you want to get down on your knees and graze it! But those tender little sprouts are toast in a freezing wind.
I love greens. I love eating them and I like growing them. I even like looking at them. But man they can be a challenge. So next time you eat a tender juicy leaf, remember how marvelous it it and how many perfect conditions had to come together for that leaf to survive.
In your share:
Flowers (amazing that Corinne still has them!--she is a genius!)