Today is my first day back on the farm after being sick for the weekend. I spent the first part of the morning helping out Larry Nesky at the University Dining Services garden down at the Lommason center. We loaded up two pickup trucks with compost/manure for him to use and began some sheet composting down at the garden. Jesse from youth harvest came along and helped out. I am amazed at how fast the dining services garden has expanded, it really looks terrific. It is refreshing to know that there are faculty members within dining services that support our quest to supply students with fresh, locally grown foods. After we returned I set up some irrigation line and then proceeded to trellis tomatoes down in the "mediterranean rock field". Many of our plants were ravaged about a week and a half ago by an intense hale storm that hit the farm. It was a really random occurrence, as most of Missoula saw little to no hale, while the farm had nearly marble sized hale for about ten minutes. Many of our broad-leafed vegetables were damaged, especially the chard and cabbage. Surprisingly our pumpkins were dented pretty badly as well. Thankfully we should have enough remaining vegetables to last the rest of our CSA season. We recently planted more salad mix to help make up for some that we lost, and we have another succession of peas in the lower field that is coming up. Tomatoes will be coming into ripeness soon, and our melons should be ready within a month or so if they are not too badly damaged.
It has been a somewhat stressful time at the farm due to these setbacks, but I view this as another learning experience for someone who is interested in farming.