What’s a farmer to do when it has been raining for more than 10 days?
For farmer Phil Barbato of Biophilia Organic Farm on Manor Lane in Jamesport, it’s time to get out and weed. There was a light drizzle Thursday afternoon so he and fellow farmer Abra Morawiec were out there in the 1/4 acre garlic patch weeding around the 7,000 hard and soft neck plants. They planted the nine varieties in that field last fall and will harvest them this summer.
“Weeding is what you can do when it is wet,” he said. “The weeds come out easier. It feels like we’ve had 10 days of rain and the next eight have a forecast of rain for six of them. You can’t get in the field with a tractor when it is this wet.”
They also spend a lot of time in his greenhouse repotting tomato seedlings.
The 65 tomato varieties are started from seed and transferred from flats to four inch pots. This method helps develop a good root system before they are planted in the field in the next two weeks. The 975 plants will take up about a 1/3 acre, with each variety occupying a 30-foot-long row.
The first fruit harvested will be around the last week of June and the beginning of July. Phil said he plans for early, middle and late harvesting varieties to meet the demand of his CSA customers, of which he hopes to have about 50 signed up. His annual tomato festival takes place on August 20 this year.
Now he is just looking for a break in the weather and some sun.
“Plants love sun and so do people,” he said. “I struggle with it when it is gray like this. I try to do as much as I can indoors in the greenhouse.”
This year is his 17th season on the 14-acre farm. For more info go to localharvest.org/biophilia-organic-farm-M10707.
See more photos below.
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