With solstice just passing this week the farm steps over an annual milestone in the march through the summer. The longest day of the year is the official start to everyone’s favorite season, the three months we all wait so patiently for, the three months that recharge us for what’s coming. These first few weeks of summer (and the few just preceding it) are the real golden time for growing things. The light is plentiful, the soil has just reached optimum temp and the rain comes.
Long days make everything possible here if you are a plant (or trying to grow one). Maine, while not the most northerly point in the lower 48, does have a great advantage over most of the country when the world tilts each year. Fifteen and a half hours for a plant to photosynthesize will give a vastly different result over say late September when we are under twelve. The ability of our crops to gather light and turn it into growth is matched by our soils (finally) warming up to their potential. Ample sunlight means nothing unless there are nutrients available for our crops to gather. In an organic system we rely heavily on the soil to provide what our plants need to grow and these nutrients only become redily available when the ground temperature rises above 60 degrees. This temp energizes the living fraction of the soil which then works to make the mineral and nutrient fractions available for plants to use. Combine active plants with available nutrients and all you need is water. This time of year we almost always have a regular supply of rainfall. If we could have one inch per week every Sunday (farmers try not work one day if we can) that would be great but we are generally happy with the push and pull between dry and wet each June.
Fed Up -The Movie
If you are trying to eat well for your health and the health of your family, go see this film. It details the uphill battle we all have trying to be healthy while most of the food industry that wants us to eat more and more of their processed sugar laden products and cook less and less. Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, Bill Clinton and many others add their voices to this film by Katie Couric and a team of journalists. Showtimes this week in Brunswick at Frontier Cinema and next week in Rockland at the Strand. Here’s a link to the film website and trailer.
What’s in the Share this Week?