Update

Late July News

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Summer is here! And so are red ripe tomatoes! What a wonderful time of year; long days of warmth and sun, punctuated by needed rainfall.  After a slow and late start, this growing season has been ideal for plants, and humans too!

Tomatoes have ripened up and we are now selling 10 lb. flats of our 'cosmetically challenged' tomatoes for $15/flat.  Our wholesale accounts demand perfect looking fruit, so any tomatoes that don't make the grade are sold at a discount here, at Cate Farm.  We are open Tuesday through Saturday from 8am to 6pm.  Tomatoes are self-serve, please bring exact change or a check made out to Cate Farm.  Supply is on a first come, first served basis, but we do our best to keep the table stocked.  If you want to buy more than two flats, please email us at catefarm@gmail.com so that we can accommodate you.

In other farm news: Our seedling season was a success, thanks to all our wonderful customers.  Hopefully your gardens are thriving and bountiful and we would love to see pictures!  Post photos to our Facebook page or use #CateFarmGarden on Instagram and we'll share your photos on our website. 

We are now all planted out in the field, and tending to the crops  before the Fall harvest. Burdock root has been hand weeded and cultivated with various tractor mounted tools and the leaf canopy is starting to close over the rows.

We are experimenting with growing some industrial hemp for CBD production, some in the field, and some in the greenhouses. The CBD hemp market is a rapidly moving target, but so far so good.

Thanks for your support, and have a wonderful summer!

The team at Cate Farm.

 

May News: Garden Fertility and Soil Testing

Forming Beds

   Healthy plants grow in healthy soil, one that has plenty of organic matter, microbes and a balance of the right nutrients.

  Increasing organic matter and microbial life is often achieved with the addition of compost (or manure, plant materials) to your garden soil. But how can you tell about the nutrients in the soil?  Human senses of sight, smell, taste and feel can help, but a soil test from a lab is an easy and cost effective answer. University of Vermont has an excellent Soil Testing Lab, and a garden test starts at $15. Check out their Soil Testing page for more info or download a form here.

The results will come back in a week or so, with lots of good information, including recommendations of what fertilizers would help your specific site. You can request 'organic practices' and even get results tailored to specific vegetable growing requirements!

   The pH, or measure of how acid or alkaline your soil is, should optimally be in the 6.5 -6.8 range. Nutrient availability (what is easy for plants to take up) of most all important plant nutrients is best in this pH range. Ground limestone and sulfur are two common additions to raise and lower pH, respectively.

  Three plant nutrients are needed in greater amounts, called macro nutrients. They are N (nitrogen), P (phosphorous) and K (potassium), often referred to as NPK. Micro nutrients are still important, but just needed in smaller amounts. The soil test will show what nutrients your soil has now, and what additions will improve the overall balance for best plant growth. A soil test is only as good as the sample you submit. Check out UVM’s tips for taking a soil sample to ensure your results are accurate.

   Stay tuned! Future newsletter topics will include:

  • Frost hardy and tender plants

  • How to harden off plants

  • Watering in the garden

  • Professional tips for watering your seedlings

  • Growing the best tomatoes

  • And much more!

Happy Gardening!

The Team at Cate Farm