Crop Report: All About Sweet Corn

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Sweet Corn

This week summer will be in full force. Sweet corn is finally ready and let me tell you it is amazing. We had an exceptionally cold April and an unusually warm May and that cold April kept us out of the field for an early corn planting.

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Sweet Corn
Fisher Hill Farm – Local Sweet Corn

But when you look back at May we never had a frost. How unusual is that? Many years we struggle to keep early plantings alive and this year we could have planted frost sensitive crops even earlier.

But I digress, back to sweet corn. This week’s variety is called ‘Sweetness’ and its nothing short of that. Usually, to grow early corn we have to sacrifice a few things to get the corn on the table so soon, such as ear size, flavor or height of the plant. Sweetness is a very good eating corn but it is a smaller ear. But don’t worry as the season goes on the corn will get larger but it will always be better than you can find in a store!

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Sweet Corn 2
Fisher Hill Farm -Sweetness

 Deer Report

The fences seems to be holding them back. We have one last field to fence in this week and after that the deer are out of luck. Hopefully they will find some other place to call home. Next week I hope to share some pictures of the fence itself and the solar powered fence chargers that keep the fence hot.

Fall Planning

Last week we planted more beets, chard, a mega planting of kale (for winter harvest), broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, and melons. We have since had a nice little rain shower to set the plants in but definitely could use some more. Hard to believe that it’s time to think about late fall and winter kale. But we need to have the plants well established and full of greens by fall. After mid October plants don’t grow much and we need to have all that foliage banked up and ready to harvest.

Currently Available

Garlic Scapes

Zucchini and Summer Squash

Head Lettuce

Cucumbers (slicing and pickling)

Sweet corn

Chard

Kale

Radishes

Spring onions

Scallions

Green garlic

Beans (flat, fava, green, yellow)

Sweet yellow onions

Bunched beets (red and gold)

Shoots and microgreens

Potatoes, New (red and white)

Carrots

Shallots (storage)

FRESH chicken
Free Range Eggs (chicken & duck)
Red Jacket juices

Fisher Hill Farm - Bristol NY
Fisher Hill Farm – Bristol NY

Crop Report: Oh Deer!

Fisher Hill Farm

The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back

Whitetail deer have been an issue since we started farming vegetables. In the beginning they liked to eat peas and pumpkins. Knowing their preference for these crops we began planting those close to the barn or the road. These ideas helped but we always had some loss. Last year seemed exceptionally bad and we had serious losses and damage.

Off to a Good Start

This year we seemed to be off to a good start until last weekend. Those darn deer ate almost a whole bed of gold beets; a bed meaning rows upon rows not just a stretch of one row. They have good taste, I know! They pulled out the beets from the ground and nibbled only the beets; leaving a trail of destruction – partially eaten beets, greens, and torn up plastic. This all happened over the weekend and enough was enough.

What We Did About it

Monday I went to tractor supply with a headache but no plan, well maybe a little internet research, and left the store with what I thought I needed. 7 foot t-posts, poly wire, insulations, solar fence charger, and miscellaneous goodies. The final product was a 6 foot tall electric fence with 4 wires spaced 18 inches apart. And boy golly, it worked!!! So, the next day after another (fairly expensive!) trip to tractor supply we had one more field fenced in.

We are already seeing almost double the production of zucchini and summer squash. Hopefully next week after the heat wave leaves we can fence in the last big field and be deer free.

You may ask yourself why don’t they just hunt the deer in the fall? We tried that with several groups hunters during the entire Fall season. The deer are very smart, sleeping & limiting their movement during the day and foraging at night. If there is a little snow cover, a clear sky with moonlight the deer manage to find their daily ration just fine. I talked with the DEC about permits but I needed results fast.

 I hope that the deer get the message, move on to easier picking in another area and don’t come back!

 Harvest News

In positive, profitable news – we did harvest some new and exciting crops this week. We dug the first new potatoes and boy do they look nice. Planting them on plastic really paid off and I know I’ll be doing that next year. Also available are cucumbers and pickles, greens beans, fava beans, and larger sweet onions are coming in too.

The Current List of What is Available

Garlic Scapes

Zucchini and summer squash
Cucumbers (slicing and pickling)

Head Lettuce

Peas (shelling and sugar snap)
Beans (green, Italian Flat, fava)

Chard

Kale

Radishes

Spring onions

Scallions

Green garlic

Bunched beets (red and hopefully the return of gold)

Shoots and microgreens

Potatoes (NEW!)

Carrots (storage)

Onions (storage)

Shallots (storage)

 FRESH chicken
Free Range Eggs (chicken & duck)
Red Jacket juices