Monday, October 22, 2012

Changing of the Season at the Farm

As much as we may try to deny it, fall is here. The sun sets earlier and earlier every night, and it is colder and colder during the days. I’m bringing out my long sleeves, and this morning, even my winter hat! While the passing of long, warm summer nights is often sad, we at the farm welcome this change of season. It is a relief to not work in such hot weather, and the days are simply easier on our bodies. I find myself needing less sleep, drinking more tea, and getting home before 9pm. One change that is unexpected is that the harvests tend to get larger this time of year.  The return of cold weather fall crops (like bok choi, salad greens, radishes and turnips) adds a new diversity to the harvest table, reminiscent of the spring crops. But we still have a few of the summer crops holding on, like peppers and eggplant that overlap with the fall crops to create a nice large share. While the shorter days and larger harvest make harvest days difficult, we luckily don’t have any more planting to do, so our schedules are a bit lighter. Our big focus on the farm right now is cover cropping beds that are finished producing. This means we seed oats , rye, vetch and field peas to make sure these empty beds are not actually empty but have something growing in them so weeds don’t  fill in the bare ground, and nutrients don’t wash away in the winter rain. In the spring we will till these crops into the ground instead of harvesting them, returning an abundance of organic matter to the soil to keep our soil ecosystem healthy.

No comments:

Post a Comment