Farm and Garden Report
by Bobby Blair 6/23/12
A wet and cool spring, but summer seems to have finally arrived...
Remember that warm week back in April when the temperatures actually got up to 90 degrees. That brush with an early summer was short lived, and planting conditions for local farmers went downhill from one of Mother Nature's oft given flukes. Receiving an abundance of rainfall this spring would normally delay planting. But due to a dry almost snowless winter, local fields absorbed all of nature's precipitation like Bounty paper towels.
A lack of sunshine to warm the soil in May along with damp conditions prevented many seeds from sprouting. Peter MacArthur told me that he lost a crop of cucumbers at his Highland Street field pictured above. Late Blight which affects tomatoes and potatoes has also been reported in at least seven states due to the cooler rainy spring.
At my own farm, the Mayor's Plantation (former Broad Hill Vineyard) on Highland Street, the planting of my mainstay crop of dahlias was delayed due to wet conditions. Dahlias enjoy a dry and warm bed to sprout in.
Zak Hamilton, a college student, weeds a row at the Plantation to prepare for the planting of peppers. Last year's dahlia crop at the Plantation was completley decimated by Hurricane Irene in late August. Hopefully Mother Nature will be a little kinder of spirit this growing season.
In the garden this past week were Meg Porter whose local business goes by the name "The Constant Gardener", Kathy Shore who will host this year's America in Bloom judges and Jeannie Murphy of Metcalf.
For those of you asking where is Metcalf, it's the area in town where routes 16 and 126 intersect at Washington and Summer Streets. The trio of gardeners tackled a face lift of the Cutler Square. The square is dedicated to James Cutler who was killed in action in WWI. The flower beds had become overgrown and the women certainly proved what the America in Bloom Contest can do for enhancing community spirit. Funds for the project were donated by the American Legion's Downtown Marigold Project.
Yet another enhancement due to this year's America in Bloom Contest will be a gazebo at the new park on the rail trail along Winthrop and Railroad Streets. (Above) Herb Brockert (center green shirt) from the Rail Trail Committee, and Mark Dellicker of Dellicker Construction Co. (left white shirt) along with crews, prepare forms for the pouring of concrete. Contruction of the gazebo is to begin sometime around June 30th. The gazebo was donated by the American Legion's Downtown Marigold Project.
Posted in Green.