Leffler Family Farms’ June 20th Farm Update
Around the farm….
The temperature finally broke into the low 90’s on the farm for a few days last week, which was well received by the many different crops growing at this point. The spinach and lettuce are doubling in size everyday, the potato plants are over a foot tall and ready to set flowers, and the onions are beginning to bulb up. Summer is quickly approaching with a reward of fresh local grown veggies for the family.
There is an old farmer saying that “every year is different.” This year is no exception. Last year we saw a dry spring that did not allow for many weeds to germinate or many insects to build up large populations. After a fairly wet spring, conditions were right for weeds and insects to compete a little better this season. This is the first year we have seen insects (mainly leaf hoppers) eating our spinach, chard, and beet greens in the spring. Although there is some damage on a few leaves, which ultimately reduces total production, there is not enough damage to warrant spaying anything besides water–which only disrupts the bugs while they eat lunch.
This season we have also seen more Colorado potato beetles early on. Adults lay their eggs on the undersides of eggplant, potatoes, and even some weeds. When they hatch out, the larvae instantly begin feeding on the leaves. Check out the pics below of the larvae and adult beetle. These guys are big and slow, so every evening I walk the potatoes and hand pick them off the plants, which is a good method for control of overall population. Also, the chickens seem to think they are interesting little treats!
Greenhouse Starter Plants
We should be done transplanting the remainder of our peppers, tomatoes, and our other greenhouse starter plants this next week in the field. We have learned to wait up until the last minute to plant our starters to avoid some of the volatile weather that the end of May seems to produce. We have over 30 tomato varieties (which are mainly heirloom), 15 pepper varieties, artichoke, Italian and Japanese eggplant, and several types of herbs in store for this season. Here is a list of some:
Tomatoes: Mom’s Red Cherry, Black Cherry, Super Snow White Cherry, Bicolor Cherry, Yellow Pear, Japanese Black Trifele, Tigerella, Chocolate Stripes, Green Zebra, Juanne Flamme, Brandywine, Yellow Brandywine, Mr. Stripey, Cherokee Purple, Great White, Crimson Cushion, Mortgage Lifter, Cosmonaut Volkov, Hungarian Heart, Roma, Nebraska Wedding…….
Hot Peppers: Jalapeno, Serrano, Poblano, Anaheim, Bulgarian Carrot, Chi Chien Chinese, Scorpion…..
Sweet Peppers: Green Bell, Red Bell, Orange Bell, Yellow Bell, Purple Bell, Spanish Shishito,….
Farm Photo Tour
Irrigating the potatoes.
Golden beets on the left and red beets on the right. The red beets have been thinned.
Mixed lettuce growing strong.
Rainbow Chard–Yellow, Magenta, Orange, Red, and White
Potato beetle larvae on left and adult on the right.
Onions starting to bulb up.
Anthony, Huxley, and Elliot watering in the greenhouse.
The first day of pick up for all members will be the week of July 6th. Below are the specific dates based on pick up location.
Old South Pearl Street Farmer’s Market – Sunday July 6th from 9-1pm.
All Basil Doc’s Pizza locations – Wednesday July 9th from 4-7pm.
University of Denver – Wednesday July 9th from 4-7pm.
Evergreen Neighborhood/ 2 locations – Wednesday July 9th from 4-7pm.
Golden Neighborhood-Wednesday July 9th from 4-7pm.
Please let us know if you are unsure of your pick up location or have any questions. I will be in touch with more specific details like the address and contact information a week or two before the season starts, and you can also reference our website for general information at www.lefflerfarms.com.