Sunday, July 26, 2015

Melons and Dirty Boots

Yesterday I was dutifully turning the melon vines back into the bed and away from the path and I saw my first melon forming. Whoohoo! So I looked carefully and found a couple more that haves started. This year's melons were a bit late after slugs took down the first sowing. But it looks like I'll get melons after all which makes me happy. Now all I need is hot weather and not too much rain when they are ripening. Last year's melons were the best ever because of the weather. I can always hope for a repeat. But even if they turn out to be just decent melons I'll be pretty happy.

My boots have nothing to do with my melons. But I ended up tracking dirt all over my floor as I didn't notice how dirty they were. I was out gleaning at Kimball's Farm. I've never gleaned there before but I'm really happy I got to as Kimball's is one of the farms that comes to our farmers market and I buy a lot of apples from them in the fall. They are an IPM farm which I like. For instance they never spray their strawberries after they start blooming, so the pesticides won't end up on the fruit.

The farmer talked out the corn we were going to pick. His farm is just over the border in New Hampshire or at least the part we were on. The University of New Hampshire uses it as a test field for when pests and diseases come up from the south. So he knows exactly how many pests are around. They tell him when to spray and how much. Though he doesn't always follow the recommendations. Right now they are telling him to spray for corn earworms every five days. He knows that if he sprays only once a week instead, he will still have 95% of his crop free of worms. Which he thinks is good enough.

We got to glean in this field because it had been picked twice already. What was left wasn't economically viable to pay someone to pick it. But we gleaners are volunteers, so we were out sweating for our corn. Many of the ears that were left were small but still otherwise perfect. Occasionally we would get a patch that was big lovely ears. The biggest problem with picking was the 6' high ragweed that grew between the rows. We could have used a machete. It was a true jungle in the weeds. Some of the ragweed was taller than the corn and it certainly was thicker.


  1. I love dirty boots! They may mean you have a dirty house, but they also signify a good time!

  2. gleaning! well I have learnt something today. I wonder if such a thing happens here in Australia. a great idea.

  3. Our melon is growing in the house and is doing well. I'm impressed you can grow yours outside! Ours wouldn't stand a chance outside here!

  4. I'm glad you will be getting your melons this year! I'm always amazed at the weeds on the farm - sometimes you can barely tell there is a crop there. But the worst is that they harbor a ton of mosquitoes, especially in the early morning. Makes me glad I garden in raised beds!