Flint, Michigan area urban agriculture report - July 8, 2015
Updates about urban and semi-rural small scale diversified vegetable farm fields, hoop-houses and market gardens in the Flint area.
According to the Michigan State University Enviro-weather station in Flint Michigan, temperatures for the past week ranged from a 47.1 degrees Fahrenheit low to an 85.4F high. We are at 1137 GDD base 50 (Growing Degree Days); our season is running a few days ahead of normal for degree day totals. The rainfall total for the year to date in Flint is 12.05 inches; we had 1.3 inches recorded at the Flint Enviroweather station yesterday. With an increase in the number of rainy days in the past few weeks in the area, coupled with our cooler weather, there are increasing concerns for disease development in our vegetable crops, especially cucumber downy mildew which has been found in three regions of Michigan.
According to research done in the hoop-houses located at Michigan State University’s Student Organic Farm and educator observations from the field, cool and warm season crops are continuing to be harvested out of area hoop-houses due to season extension technology at this time of year. In Flint area hoop-houses and market gardens, growers are scouting for pests and diseases, harvesting many crops and weeding.
Cabbage loopers, aphids and flea beetles are still problematic. Slug damage on Swiss chard, cabbage and peppers has been noted on one farm. In an area hoophouse, pith necrosis on tomato was diagnosed by Michigan State University’s Diagnostic Services last week. An online resource ‘A Pocket Guide to Common Diseases in the Urban Garden’ from Michigan State University, published in 2013, may be a helpful resource to urban producers with the current disease concerns in our state.
Going to area farmers markets now
According to a Michigan State University Extension food systems educator, area growers are harvesting cherry tomatoes, green slicing tomatoes, beets, basil, peas, kale, scallions, summer squash, carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, radishes, green beans, and cucumbers from area hoop-houses this week. Green peppers are close to harvest in area hoop-houses. Field harvest includes Swiss chard, kale, beets, peas (Snow and snap), green garlic, salad mix, and cauliflower.
For helpful information on how to select, prepare, and safely preserve Michigan’s bounty of fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, meats, eggs, nuts and fish, check out the Michigan State University Extension Michigan Fresh program, with current fact sheets on over 50 crops, general food and ornamental gardening information, food preservation information, recipe cards, a seasonal harvest availability guide and a guide for donating fresh produce.