Spinella Farm

  (Waterford Works, New Jersey)
Life on a 100-year-old market farm
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Thoughts for Friday, June 6, 2014

While scouting the potato patch the day before last, I discovered some beginnings of the blight. As I looked up the diseased leaves to confirm my suspicion that it was late blight, my next thought was to contact our county ag agent to give him the word. You hate to be the first one with bad news, especially late blight, but I guess I am going to be the first in line.

Agent Wes Kline of Cumberland County will be out to inspect my field today. I sent him some pictures of the diseased leaves and that prompted his visit. We are lucky to have a dedicated agent like Wes, who is also an expert on food safety. Yesterday I sprung into action and sprayed the fungicide needed to combat the fungus. A cool night and morning may have broken the cycle but I'm not taking any chances.

Things are starting to pick up for tomorrow's market. The CSA will begin for one thing. The snow peas are blooming like crazy which means a lot of sweet tender shells. Also, the second planting of radishes is ready to be picked and they are way better than the first planting. Finally, the basil will be ready to be snipped so we will have that for the first time.

Today started on a sad note. Ed Liberta, a local farmer whose family has been a member of Winslow Township for generations, passed away in a house fire this morning. Ed and his brothers have grown everything from apples to vegetables. When Teresa and I first got married, we lived in the old farmhouse that Ed's mother and father lived in. I will miss him dearly. Ironically, his brother Rudy, who was a produce broker in Philadelphia, was killed last week when he was hit by a car. 

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