Happy New Year! What's happening at Salty River Farm in January?
Happy New Year! Hasn't it been hot. The heat effects everything on the farm, from plants to animals to us and our holiday plans!
Wow - 2022 has certainly turned on the heat. We were all set to take a couple of extra days on holiday up north when we realised that some of our plants were looking very stressed. With no rain on the horizon, we flew into action, setting up extra irrigation for the no-dig beds.
We have set up a drip irrigation system that slowly drips water at the base of each plant. We are totally self-sufficient for water, with rain water tanks for the gardens and household, and dams for the animal troughs. Collecting, storing, filtering and making sure we have enough water are super important tasks, nothing survives without water.
We know we made the right decision even though we would have loved to have had a couple more days at the beach.
The heat is no problem for the little tomatoes though, and all the sunshine is encouraging the little guys to pop into colour. Our little honeybee yellow tomatoes are leading the race so far, with the plants laden with bags of the little sweeties. It might sound crazy but it’s actually good for us to slightly water stress the tomatoes - this ensures they are full of good old fashioned out-door-grown tomato flavour. Keep an eye out in our online shop and at our farmers market stalls for for these little summer sweeties.
Great timing! Lucky nature has designed BASIL to be ready at the same time as TOMATOES! Our basil plants are HUGE right now, it’s a great time to grab one in your order or at one of our markets. They’ll stay alive for ages in a jar of water on your bench - lots of time for you to deal with a big batch of pesto! Actually all our summer herbs are crazy big right now. We are growing Thai basil for the first time this year, and we’re loving it. Licoricy, spicy and bit more bold than sweet basil, it’s amazing in a refreshing thai salad - perfect on a hot evening.
Have you ever eaten an apple cucumber? They’re a bit of an old fashioned thing, the kind of summer vege your grandma might have grown. They are ... a cucumber in a ball-shape. Our boys love them - and we have to be careful they don’t all disappear before they get to the packing room! Crispy, refreshing, quirky ... it’s understandable really.
What are we harvesting at Salty River Farm?
Just starting: Little tomatoes - yellow and red
In full harvest mode:
Baby leaf lettuce
Lebanese and apple cucumbers
Later in summer: Watermelon