A Note from Layton at Quail Hill Farm | Start of Summer

June 24, 2022

By Layton Guenther

Farms for the Future
Quail Hill Farm

Happy Solstice! 

Tuesday marked the longest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere), the Summer Solstice. At our latitude here in Amagansett (40.97°N, but who’s counting?) we get roughly 15 hours of daylight, meaning ample, nearly non-stop photosynthesis for our leafy friends, crops and weeds alike! Walking around the farm, you’ll notice that cover crops and grasses start to shift their energy from vegetative (or apical) growth and towards setting their seed. The Solstice is a shift in the season, beginning of flowers and fruiting crops and potatoes, and we begin our long, slow slide towards the end of our growing season.

The Solstice also brings about the beginning of bulk-harvest season, starting with one of our favorites: garlic scapes! Scapes are the flowering stem that emerge from hardneck garlic stalks. If left to their own devices, scapes will actually produce a lily-like “flower,” rife with bulbils that can be eaten or planted as miniature garlic. However, these false flowers also steal caloric energy away from that which we’re primarily seeking in a garlic crop: the bulb. Anecdotally, removing the scapes can improve yields by up to 80%.


For us, the solstice marks a high point in our season where we’re humming along and all of our major field production tasks are online: irrigating, seeding, transplanting, weeding, tractor cultivation, harvesting and field crop care are all underway. Our 2022 crew has done a stellar job of staying on top of everything around the farm!


Our third season of partnership with the Bridgehampton Childcare Center (BHCC) is well underway, and to date we’ve distributed almost 1,000 pounds of fresh produce. Our Farm-to-Food Pantry program functions as a large-format CSA, whereby we harvest, pack and deliver veggies for around 200 families per week. Many thanks to the many of you who contributed towards this program to make for a successful program, critical to improving food access and our local food system.

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