Monday, September 07, 2009

Laboring, for good

sunflower field at Clagett FarmWeeding in (non-milagro) beanfields last week, near this gorgeous sunflower cover crop field (which means, incidentally, there are a lot more sunflowers around Clagett than last year--yay!), makes you appreciate work in all its forms--when on the farm, by the people and plants. In essence, the sunflowers are working, just by standing around looking beautiful, because as cover crops, they help prevent erosion and help fertilize the soil, making a type of green manure.

Discouragingly, hard work can seem to be for naught when there are diseases like the tomato blight on the loose, rampaging tomato plants in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, as the tomato harvest is noticeably down from last year. However, I noticed that while most of the tomatoes were adversely affected, the smaller ones, notably the cherries and Sungold held up reasonably well. My guesses as to their durability, particularly the Sungolds, is that the variety is pretty hardy to begin with, as Sungolds have a longer growing season than most other tomatoes. Also, the small size helps the fruits (yes, tomatoes are botanically considered fruit) get more exposure to sun and air than other varieties, as the staked plants are rarely, say, knocked to the ground after a storm as happens much more often with larger, heavier tomatoes. While I wish there were more of the other tomato varieties (such as the supremely tasty Black Prince), I'm glad the little Sungolds are surviving...
Sungold tomatoes from Clagett FarmOops! Because I'm not sure which cable station Planet Green is on, I missed last week's episode of Emeril Green featuring Clagett Farm CSA.

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Because summer's coming to an end, and I like sunflowers and Pembroke corgis, a video combination featuring both, with a surprise at the end--a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of the season.

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