Flint, Michigan, area urban agriculture update – June 21, 2017
Recent rainfall was needed to support crop growth, although irrigation continues in some areas.
According to the Michigan State University Flint Enviro-weather station, temperatures for the past week ranged from a low of 55 degrees Fahrenheit to a high of 87.3 F, with most of the night temperatures in the warm, 65 F range, encouraging good crop growth. We are at 871 growing degree days (GDD) base 50; the hot weather last week and through the weekend bumped our growing season ahead again in terms of the five-year averages.
The Flint, Michigan, area received 1.65 inches of rain in the past week, although rainfall in other areas of the county was extremely variable, ranging from a trace to 4 inches. The rainfall this week was truly needed to support crop growth, yet irrigation continues in the areas where they received too little, and field work is suspended where too much fell all at once.
According to research done in the MSU hoophouses located at the Student Organic Farm and MSU Extension educator observations from the field, slicing tomatoes in area hoophouses are flowering heavily and setting fruit, as are summer squash, peppers and zucchini. Cherry tomatoes in some instances have fully formed fruits.
Additional succession plantings of outdoor sweet corn, green beans, lettuce, Swiss chard, beet and mustard greens continue, supplying CSA shares and fresh market sales over the growing season. Great germination on previously planted carrots has been noted due to the good growing conditions.
On one area farm, green beans have sustained bean leaf beetle damage this week. Bean leaf beetles are an occasional pest of snap beans that can be found feeding on leaves this time of year.
Going to area farmers market’s now
According to a MSU Extension food systems educator, area growers are harvesting kale, kohlrabi, green garlic, garlic scapes, salad mix and carrots from hoophouses. Herbs are being harvested indoors and out. In the field, kale, collards, rhubarb, beet greens and Swiss chard are being harvested.