Flint, Michigan area urban agriculture report – June 11, 2014
This past week’s warm, dry weather has growers irrigating where possible, and hoping for rain for field crops to grow in urban and semi-rural small scale diversified farm fields.
This past week’s warm, dry weather has growers irrigating where possible, and hoping for rain for field crops to grow in urban and semi-rural small-scale diversified farm fields. Crops harvested from urban and rural hoop-houses and fields are going to area farmers markets.
According to the Michigan State University Enviro-weather station in Flint, Michigan, temperatures for the past week ranged from a 46.5 degrees Fahrenheit low to an 85 F high. We are at 613 GDD base 50 (Growing Degree Days), which has caught up to last year’s reading. Our season in this region has now caught up to normal, while northern areas of the state are still behind when compared to normal. The rainfall total for the year is 11.32 inches, and we received no rainfall this past week. Dry and warm days in the past week have increased the need for irrigation (and desire for rainfall) as soils are now quite dry, especially for newly planted transplants. Today’s rainfall and rain anticipated in the week ahead will be appreciated.
According to research done at the MSU Hoop-houses at the Student Organic Farm and educator observations from the field, summer crops continue to be planted (both transplants and direct seeded) in the field, including tomatillos, eggplant, carrots, squash, and pumpkins, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, peanuts, cut flowers, snap beans, sweet-, Indian- and heirloom field corn.
Pests seen this week in area hoop-houses and fields are cucumber and flea beetles, squash bugs, root maggots and asparagus beetle larvae. One grower is finding adult ladybugs, parasitic wasps in the hoop-house, providing ecosystems services.
Going to market now
According to a Michigan State University Extension food systems educator, growers are harvesting salad mix, spinach, summer squash, cucumbers, squash blossoms, radishes, turnips, scallions, beets, beet greens, carrots, kale, and snap peas this week out of area urban hoop-houses and low tunnels. Herbs harvested from hoop-house and fields include cilantro, basil, fennel, and chamomile. Green onions and salad mix are also being harvested from the field.