We had to go to the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market on a recent Saturday with nothing but eggs. Our tomatoes are done and, after all the rain, it was too wet to dig potatoes.
Our tomatoes were finally done in by a combination of drought and late blight, a devastating disease that shows up around the end of August.
We went from picking hundreds of pounds of tomatoes a week to less than 50 pounds. When I checked the tomato patch two days after that, I did not see one tomato fit to eat. Nothing but dead vines.
There are ways around late blight. If I was smart like Dane and Maria of Fisher Farms, I would have started a fall crop of tomatoes in mid-May to transplant in July. Young tomato plants seem to resist late blight and go on to produce in the fall.
I fully intended to start a fall tomato crop, and I had the varieties picked out and put the seed packets prominently on the middle of my desk to remind myself.
But the cool weather in mid-May gave us fits, we grew twice as much garlic and potatoes that we started harvesting in mid-June, and we raised more chickens than we have ever had. Mid-May slipped into mid-July.
It is very cool to have more to do than you can possibly do when it is something you love to do. A blessing disguised as work and we are grateful for it.
Dean Mullis writes from Laughing Owl Farm in Richfield; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less