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North Star Farms
P.O. Box 164
Carpio, N.D. 58725
(701) 720-2635

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Marv's Blog
Waiting for an explosion
Written by Marv Baker   
Sunday, 07 August 2011

Numerous people have been stopping by the farm in the past couple of weeks to take a look at those crops "you can't grow in North Dakota." My friend Cliff calls them "tourists."

Well, those tourists are witnessing a transformation of fledgling plants to wicked producers.

I'm sounding like a broken record when I say after the fifth flood this year, (June 17 I believe) a lot of plants looked pretty sick. But they've rebounded nicely and although a couple of weeks behind where they should be, are doing quite nicely thank you very much.

But there has been little fruit thus far. There are blossoms everywhere, but little fruit. For instance, I searched our entire cucumber crop (approximately 600 row feet and 7 varieties) and could only find four cucumbers, barely enough for a salad with hemp oil and balsamic vinegar. 

So I'll admit, I'm impatient. I want produce and lots of it and by the looks of those blossoms, that's what we'll get. Since it's early August, we've got some time yet before it gets too cold for moderate growth so I'm encouraged that one of these days there's going to be an explosion and we are going to be scrambling to get things picked.

I've already told our employees that we are going to get busy real soon. The okra is an example of things to come. Last night (Saturday) before leaving the field I checked the Windy Wood okra because it tends to get "woody" if not picked right away. Turns out, since Thursday numerous pods have formed and developed including several that are too big and can't be used. 

I remember last year we ended up with some cucumbers and zucchini that looked like dirigibles because we either forgot them or they were hidden under foliage. I'm still waiting, however, for that pumpkin that will be the size of a Volkswagon. 

We're seeing the changes every day. I've often told my friends in Australia that should they come to North Dakota, late July is the best time to be here because of all the blooming, the bees and the vibrant colors. Here it is, a week into August and that is exactly what we are seeing.

Tourists are welcome anytime to come on out and take a look. We encourage it. We've had inquiries from as far away as Fargo and Winkler, Manitoba. We'll give a tour and show that there is no colony collapse disorder on this farm.

Who knows, there might even be a surprise or two in nature. Thursday morning while taking a break from picking, we watched a fox walk up to the river bank and take a drink of water from the Des Lacs River. That certainly made my day.

This is why I like this job so much. I'll be the first to admit it's hard work. But the satisfaction that comes with it can't be duplicated.



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