The cool spring season crops are loving this weather! The peas, broccoli and kale are thriving in this unseasonably cool June. Nights are still in the 50's which means that the Solanaceous "nightshade" family of crops - tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes - are mostly just sitting tight waiting for the boost of July heat for the fruit to start ripening. If you look at the root of the plant family name, Solanaceae - you can see that solar power is critical to these plants. The term "nightshade" also suggests that these plants grow at night. I have heard folks refer to that concept of high night growth before and all I can say is that the plants definitely look bigger in the morning. I haven't been able to find any concrete scientific research that verifies tomato growth patterns in relation to day light. Perhaps I will have to conduct my own experiment. Since the tomatoes in the high tunnel are trellised up on strings maybe I should mark where a specific plant is on the string a the start and end of the day and night for a few days.... Citizen Science at its best!
Speaking of Citizen Science, I have been volunteering with the Green Mountain Conservation Group to help track water quality in the Ossipee watershed by testing and taking water samples in the Ossipee River and in one of its' tributaries. It is great to take an hour in the morning every other week to do something completely different. We are also collaborating to show the movie "Vanishing of the Bees" here at the farm in the CSA pick-up space on July 9th at 6:30. Light refreshments provided, and some seating available, but if you have a camp chair please bring it along in case we run out of seats.