Ramblings of a Grower: 4

Hello my avid readers! I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful weather we are finally having after seemingly endless rain. It is currently about 98 degrees in the greenhouse right now with standard greenhouse humidity, aka its extremely humid too. Its really fun, I am currently sweating out of literally every pore on my body. But I will say it doesn’t feel like its almost 100 degrees, I don’t know if its because I am so darn sweaty or if its because the past year of working in a greenhouse (particularly one in florida for 7 months) has actually helped me adjust to the heat. But either way its really hot but thats ok because sweating my butt off is my summer weight loss strategy. And if I can do that without actually working out that would be awesome. To add to the general ickiness of me, the bag of peat I was bringing into the greenhouse before ripped in the tractor bucket and exploded all over me. So not only am I sweaty, but I also have a nice layer of peat dust over my upper body and clothing. Its a good thing today isnt a visit the farm day.

We hired a new kid for the summer to help weed out in the big veggie garden here at the farm and man is it nice to know that I am no longer the only person responsible for that. Working full time in the greenhouse is my main job, and then I would stay after work or come in on the weekends sometimes to work in the garden and man did it seem like an impossible task. You would spend a few hours getting one section really good and then the next time you could go out everything else would be even worse. But now, he is out there full time and my gosh it looks great. Now I can focus more on specific jobs out there, like pruning the gigantic raspberries (which are starting to ripen!), instead of crying over beds and beds of weeds.

Things in the greenhouse are going well. I am a bit behind on my harvest and replant schedule but theres only so many hours in the day and space in the walkin fridge so I don’t get too stressed about it. At the moment, our pest population is fairly low as well (KNOCK ON WOOD!!!!!), some thrips on the choy, but thats exactly why we planted the choy so I am ok with that too. You see, the choy is what you call a trap crop, at least for us it is. What that means is that we let it get buggy and then pull it out and dispose of it, ideally taking the bugs with us. And the choy we are using has a fast turnover rate meaning that what does get buggy isnt just sitting there for weeks on end. We are using choy because thrips prefer it over lettuce. So this keeps all the thrips on one end of the greenhouse while the lettuce can thrive thrip free on the other end. I also have only seen a small handful of leafminers. Leafminer damage is super obvious and can be quite bad for the plant if there is enough of it. But, when you find leafminers, it is kindof fun to pop them out of the leaves like a weird plant zit. I’m sorry I know thats gross but its true, ask any plant science intern from Epcot.

My hose is currently out of commission for repairs so I am currently watering everything with a watering can. Now this normally wouldn’t be an issue, except its been so hot the past few days that Everything needs to be watered Every day. AKA watering is taking a really long time each day. Now I know what you are probably thinking, what is a hydroponic grower doing with a hose in the first place? Well, not everything in my little greenhouse is in the hydroponic system. We have about 300 aloe plants that I divided myself, some nice herbs, and some other fun plants in pots as well. All of which are for sale by the way, stop by and buy them, please. So those have to get watered regularly.

In other news, I am now wildly paranoid about any prickly feeling I have. The guy who does my seeding had a gigantic tick bite him before. We knocked it off, curb stomped it, and then cut it in half, but I still have questions. What the heck was a tick doing in the middle of a greenhouse in the middle of a cut lawn. They usually are found in the woods and in fields. Now there is some hay growing nearby, but its about 20 ft from the greenhouse and none of us walk through it. So either: this one is an adventurer, it was already on my guy and it just took its sweet time to find his arm, or it got brought in by one of the demon creatures hiding in the tunnels around the drain pipes (voles i think). Basically I am going to be spending a lot of the evening in front of a mirror checking myself over.

What is that 6 different topics? I should probably stop soon. I have a handful of things left I can do today, I don’t know if I have the energy for another harvest today so small stuff it shall be, hence me writing this. Anyway, thanks for reading, all two of you and of course my avid spam commenters. Time to get back to the ol grind.