Those of you who are avid readers of our blog may recall our A Bird in Hand or Four post back in May. This was our first time truly putting the chickens to work. The high tunnel was planted densely with carpets of lettuce, baby kale, arugula, mizuna and red kingdom. Rather than breaking our backs to get those greens cleared out we unleashed the chickens, and boy did they put those beaks to good use. The chickens were well fed, the high tunnel was ready to prep with a light amount of effort from us farmers, and the soil got an extra boost of fertility. These win-win-win situations are a growers dream come true. There was another win in this situation and it comes in the form of Sun Gold tomatoes.
You see, in order to comply to food safety standards we have to plan what crops follow the chickens carefully. Crops that are in direct contact with the soil cannot be harvested for 120 days, and crops like tomatoes that don’t directly touch the soil have a 90 day waiting window. So with that in mind we planted a nice late crop of cherry tomatoes following the chickens. This time of year can be full of difficult decisions, whether to hang onto the struggling tomatoes or start fresh with something new. Thankfully, because of the late cherry tomato planting these decisions were a lot easier. The first of the tomatoes have all been pulled and most of those areas have been replanted for fall or are at least ready to be seeded and the late succession of cherries is coming in great.
We hope everyone who went to the Durham Fair had a great time. We didn’t make it this year but we did donate our sheep fleeces to a friend who runs the fiber dept. She sent us this picture of the yarn they spun throughout the fair. It’s so cool to see the process and to know their wool is being put to good use! With another Durham Fair in the rear view mirror, traffic in the area should be back to normal when picking up on farm.
Have a great week