Farm update

Summer 2020-21 on Salty River Farm

Summer 2020-21 on Salty River Farm

Summer-time is a busy time on our farm.

In-ground crops such as pumpkins and watermelons are growing and developing. The pumpkins are ready to harvest when the plant is completely dead - the pumpkin paddock ends up looking like a waste-land dotted with brightly coloured pumpkins!

Cucumbers and Zucchini grow so fast you can almost SEE them growing - and we plant succession crops to extend our season - especially if it's dry like it has been so far this season.

Our wardrobe of little tomatoes are slowly ripening - because we grow them outside and in the ground they are sweet and full flavoured. We are growing a few different kinds this year. We're really pleased with the Tigerella variety, it's a medium sized orange-red tomatoe with red tiger stripes on it and yellow cherry Honeybee, which is fruiting well so far.

The recent rain will help keep the plants fruiting. When it's hot we are thankful to previous owners of our little farm for planting all the trees, they provide shady spots for both us and our animals.

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Preparing our soil for summer crops - spring 2020

Preparing our soil for summer crops - spring 2020

Ready ... set ... plant!

Soil preparation for Salty River Farm summer crops has been under-way (or under-cover) for a while now. To prepare for the summer crops, we cover winter crops until the old winter plants have died off. Then, our larger in-ground beds get a shallow surface harrow, but our no-dig beds get planted straight into.

The soil is full of worms and is lovely and moist from being covered.

We have hundreds of baby pumpkin, squash, zucchini, scallopini, cucumber, melon and tomato plants that we'll be planting out over the month of October.

It's a massive job, but we love the promise of all that summer produce to come.

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Pumpkin paddocks - summer 2020

Pumpkin paddocks - summer 2020

On our riverside flats we grow pumpkins – pumpkins of all shapes and colours.

Two of our favorites are baby sugar – a bright orange story-book looking pumpkin and long island cheese – named as it resembles a wheel of cheese!

Jeanie the farm dog does a good job of chasing any wild ducks away. The ducks will eat and destroy baby pumpkin plants.

We plant the pumpkin plants in spring, and by the time it’s summer they have sent down a long tap root to access water. We harvest late summer and ‘cure’ for a few weeks – this means storing the pumpkins to allow the flavour to develop.

Pumpkins are then ready for sale – good timing to make your mum a pumpkin pie for mother’s day!

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