I have been reading a book called The Four Season Harvest by Elliot Coleman in which he talks about plant health and pest control. The idea being that healthy plants will have less pests because their actual physical make-up is less desirable to eat than that of a stressed plant. It is so interesting that just because the plant produces the desired crop does not mean that that crop is as healthy and full of nutrients as a similar plant grown in a better environment. I think this is partially where the idea of brix (a measure of the sugar content of a plant) comes from. If you ever have the chance to read through this book, or even the chapter about pests, it is well worth the time! I find myself now looking around at my plants and seeing ways to lower stress and increase nutrient availability.
On the farm currently many of the heat-loving crops are starting to mature. The other day I ate the first cherry tomato off the vine and the first planting of beans are nearly ready for a first pick. Small peppers are on all the first planting pepper plants and the eggplants have flowers. Also, last week the first harvest of corn took place. I believe Senior High camp got to taste those corn first-fruits with one of their dinners! Speaking of camp, I have had the wonderful opportunity to welcome a handful of camp-goers and counselors throughout each camp week to the farm. For one of their activity times during the afternoon campers are able to come out to the farm and work on a project with me. This past week we spent a couple of nice hours chatting about anything and everything as we picked weeds from a variety of crops.