Saturday, July 30, 2011

epic fail

We are enjoying the beauty and bounty of the summer. We are eating well, putting food away for winter, sleeping with the windows open and enjoying the low humidity. Lovely rains the last few days have everything adding lots of growth. And family arrives over the next week to help celebrate Claire's birthday..the girl is now a full fledged adult!

Homer plants seeds every week in spots all over the farm. We do not spray or drop chemicals of any kind, so some things just get chomped by the bugs. We still get lots of growth to distribute to our CSA customers. The learning curve was to just keep putting seeds in the ground, at some point the good bugs eat the bad, the breeze and rain pick back up..the seeds germinate, grow, set flowers, get pollinated and we eat well. And where do we fail? Eggplant and peppers. In 2 years we have produced zero of each. We are trying to grow the non-hybrids, trying to get the old varieties to work here and have had zero sucess. Started in the basement under lights in February, more in March, more outside week after week..and nothing. nada, the big goose egg. Here is the most recent planting:

nothing but mold. Mold! What the?! I need Amy Goldman to write another book, on old peppers and old eggplants. Her books on tomatoes, squash and melons have served as an excellent guide to getting all those to grow, and grow they have, all over the farm. Please, someone, step up and tell us some secrets..peppers and eggplant we want you here at Sunnyside Farm!


  1. A super-genius horticulturist friend of mine gave me a super-genius suggestion years ago which may or may not be applicable at scale, but if you use chamomile tea to water/mist seedling starts, it provides a gentle antifungal that keeps mold at bay.

    As far as peppers and eggplant starts -- I read somewhere that heirloom/open-pollinated varieties of those two plants tend to be finicky about coming in contact with any peat moss -- it's aleopathic for them, and they put up a fuss about sprouting. So if you've got a starter mix with any peat, trying a different formulation may be helpful.

    Here's hoping!



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