Flint, Michigan area urban agriculture report – June 4, 2014
Planting of summer crops in well drained urban and semi-rural small scale diversified farm fields is proceeding at a fast pace.
Planting of summer crops in well-drained urban and semi-rural, small-scale diversified farm fields is proceeding at a fast pace. This past week’s warm and relatively dry weather has cooperated. Some crops from urban and rural hoop-houses 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 46.8 degree Fahrenheit low to a 85.2 F high. We are at 500 GDD base 50 (Growing Degree Days), which is only 39 GDD behind last year’s reading. Our season in this region has now essentially caught up to normal, as compared to many other areas of the state which are still behind when compared to normal. The rainfall total for the year is 11.32 inches, and we received .67 inches of that rainfall in this past week. Dry and warm days in the past week have allowed field work and increased planting in well drained fields.
According to research done at the MSU Hoop-houses at the Student Organic Farm and educator observations from the field, summer crops (and some remaining transplants for field planting) are growing well in area hoop-houses, including peas, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes. Baby summer squash and cucumbers are sizing for harvest, as are peas.
In the field, all of the cabbage family plants have finally been planted, overlapping with the summer crops such as tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn and pumpkins that are going in.
Pests continuing in area hoop-houses and fields are flea beetles and cabbage loopers. In one field, adult Colorado potato beetles & egg masses were spotted last week on volunteer potatoes growing where last year’s potato crop was located.
Going to market now
According to a Michigan State University Extension food systems educator, growers are harvesting salad mix, cilantro, parsley, Swiss chard, beet greens, radish, turnips and peas this week out of area urban hoop-houses and low tunnels. Cucumbers and zucchini will be harvested in the next week or so. It is a bit of a lull period as most of the summer hoop-house crops are not quite ready to harvest yet and short-term harvested field crops went in late due to abundant rainfall in the area this spring.