We also finally broke down and bought a flame weeder last week. No herbicides are used on our farm, which means weeds have to be dispatched with a lot of manual labor: tillers, wheel hoes, and hand-held hoes are how we typically go about it. But all three of those methods require dry soil conditions. After spending the past two months crawling through mud ripping crabgrass out of everything by hand, I was more than ready for a new solution. At any price. A flame weeder is simply a propane-fueled torch that sizzles the weeds to death, and it works whether it's wet or dry. We'll be firing it up for a test run tomorrow. Fire makes me anxious, but hand-weeding makes me cranky. Knock on wood that we don't set the farm on fire!
Another light harvest overall this week. We've literally had to bring our tomatoes back from the brink of death after such a wet season. This week may be one of the lightest weeks of the summer for tomatoes, but after much TLC, a generous amount of stubborn bull-headed-ness, and more hand-wringing than I'm going to admit, the plants are once again looking healthy, blooming prolifically, and setting new fruit. I'm hopeful that we'll get a 'second summer' off of the vines in a few more weeks' time. A few more cantaloupes now, and we're getting down to the last of the onions. We've been cutting the summer lettuce hard the past few weeks, so we're going to let it rest and re-grow this week. It'll be back on the menu next week. Hopefully we should then be able to close the gap between the current planting of salad greens and the next round. Plenty of peppers, eggplant, and basil right now - get out those ratatouille, eggplant parm, and pesto recipes!