Due to our dry environment, we never thought we would be able to grow melons at our farm. While I was at my favorite garden store and found some local seed for watermelon and something called a Crenshaw Melon. It’s a cantaloupe variation that is supposed to grow well in our area. We were surprised and excited to test grow.
Since our rows are on a slight slope, the bottom of our rows always have extra moisture. At the end of every row we placed a few melon seeds.
It took awhile but we managed to get 4 watermelons and over a dozen crenshaw melons. The crenshaws were more prolific but took longer to ripen. We also had issues with pests taking over the crenshaw melons. We started to realize why. They have a fantastically sweet yet complex flavor that is very addictive! I highly recommend trying to grow them. We plan to grow more next year but will look for better placings for the fruit to sit to avoid insect infestation. Stay tuned for that!
This year has been extremely hot which is great for our luffa, peppers and tomatoes but many of our squash plants are suffering. We have gone 55 days in a row with temperatures in the 90s. Very little clouds to give the plants a break. The tender flowers of the Butternut squash are wilting and drying out before they get pollinated. The soil is also drying out faster than usual. It doesn’t help that our crop rows are on a slope which causes water to move away from some of the plants.
The black fabric weed block we use is very helpful for warming up the soil early which is necessary in our short growing season climate. It extends growth early on and also late in the season. Unfortunately with the high temperatures I believe the squash production is down due to heat stress.
We finally came up with the idea to take some of our old, torn hoop fabric cover, which is thin and white, and cover the black wee block around the Butternut squash. This helped reflect back some of the powerful sun rays so there was less heat.
It worked! The plants quickly produced 6 new Butternut squash.
The vines of our Luffa Squash plants have completely taken over the hog panel wall and now we are seeing our first growing Luffas. The Luffa grows as a squash with firm stringiness inside of it. I’m counting an average of 3 per plant. We are still concerned with ripening time. It’s late in the season and it seems like we have a lot of babies rather than full sized squash.
The vines are still growing and there is no space left on the wall. We had to just let them fall over and grow on the ground. It’s amazing how much these few plants took over! If you plan to try this be prepared for an overwhelming amount of greenery.
Our area is famous for early snow storms so we can only hope these Luffa quickly ripen before the season ends due to weather. If they aren’t ripe the Luffa sponge will be difficult to peel and will not be firm enough for use. Keeping our fingers crossed!
Check out our Luffa Wall video on the farm’s YouTube Channel:
It’s the year of Covid-19. The year 2020. The good news is I’m working from home until further notice. This gives me more time to work in the garden. The bad news is we lost a number of customers who don’t want contact so stopped ordering.
In order to limit contact we make deliveries to customer’s homes, drop it by the front door, knocking and then leave. We started billing and receiving payments online via credit card.
We are growing more mixed rows this year, using fewer rows overall. We are trying to right size the garden for the fewer customers we are expecting. This will also reduce the amount of work and result in less stress which everyone can use at times like these.
Check out the 2020 Garden Tour on the farm’s YouTube Channel: