Fall arrived last week in it’s own spectacular fashion and the weather has certainly taken the cue that Autumn is here. This is a special time of year on farms. For many it’s the peak of harvest, and we must balance the need to get crops out with having to sow cover crops or perhaps get in one last planting. For many farms it is the signal to begin to slow down, clean up and close the operation down for the cold months ahead. But for many others like ourselves though it is time to try and clean up, slowing down and closes up isn’t quite the tune of the day. For us with some night time lows in the forecast reminding us of the cold to come it is time to get organized, pulling out all of the season extension tools. Now this may sound more glamorous than the reality of it being metal hoops, plastic, row cover and sand bags. None the less this Monday morning we will begin to free them from their overgrown summer homes. Setting up the unique winter landscape that is a 4 season farm in New England.
Though season extension itself isn’t new to us one fall activity we are actively trying to expand on the farm is cover cropping. Used to protect the soil form weather and erosion, fertilize and perhaps most importantly keep life in and on the soil as much as possible. Cover cropping is an amazing tool, that unfortunately does require a good deal of skill and effort, at a time when the clock is ticking. Surely the delivery drivers that have seen our seed deliveries change from small light boxes to 40 and 50 pound bags of peas, oats, vetch and winter rye know something is afoot. So far we’ve sown one beautiful patch of peas and outs, a few areas of peas, oats and vetch of which the deer have enjoyed the peas. One high tunnel in Buchwheat then peas and oats along with a large section of Winter rye this past Friday. At this time of year one would be hard pressed to plant anything else beside winter rye and maybe vetch. Rest assured we have around 100lbs of rye to get seeded this next week or two.
In addition to fall being the season of cover crops it is also the time of year where many of the vegetables we grow year round come into their prime. Signaled by the dwindling light, bok choys and lettuce for example can grow big without fear of bolting. One can hold them in the field for months with a bit of effort, season extension gear and some cooperation from Mother nature.
Speaking of Mother nature, we all know that the weather won’t always align with our schedules, as was the case this past Saturday. With the promise of a cold rainy day we were less than enthusiastic about getting out of bed to head to the market. It’s a feeling we are sure you all share on those less than appealing market days. Despite this we go to the market warm with the knowledge that many of you will faithfully come out and support ourselves and many others who make up this good food people thing we do. It’s simple to say it, but the truth of it has endless reverberations. We are all in it together, without dedicated customers we could not do what we do. This feeling of appreciation for you all is magnified on those less than perfect days and we wanted to make sure and express how much we do appreciate you all.
On the subject of appreciation we figured a cute picture of Willie and a little sheep update may hit the spot. As you can see though Willie appears to have 3 horns there are actually 4. The one with the tennis ball decoration is actually 2 fused together. These two horns have separate points and a small amount of space between them which is perfect for getting caught on just about everything. A simply solution is to cap the horns with a tennis ball(something he seems to like) and switch from net like fencing to simpler strands. So far so good, so from Willie and the rest of us here
Have a great week