As we approach the end of August, it would appear that the hottest days of the summer are behind us. The days are shortening, nights are cooler, and the vegetables and the farmers are breathing a small sigh of relief.
After two days of steady rain, it looks as though the major irrigating is done, we’ll just water new planting and crops under mulches.
The stress of planting, weeding and irrigating subsides, and for the first time in 6 months it feels like we can take our nose off the grindstone for a moment and think about the next stage in the season.
Cabbage and children enjoying the irrigation
Our fall crops are looking good—there are thousands of cauliflower, storage cabbage, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, onions, leeks and potatoes to name a few that we will be picking for you over the second half of the season.
As we enter September, the only seeds left to plant are spinach, lettuces, arugula, tatsoi, and various Asian greens. With shorter days and cooler nights, the weeds do not grow as fast, and neither do the vegetables.
So, inevitably we begin to shift gears here on the farm.
From here on out, all we really do harvest and clean-up the fields for winter.
Before this past rain we seeded about 15 acres of cover crops in preparation for next season.
Oats, wheat, and rye will be emerging after this rain and grow right into December.
Our cows have been bred by our bull, and we will kick him out of the herd and into our neighbor’s herd where he will continue his role as the neighborhood stud.
In preparation of the incoming fall vegetables we have cleared barn space for storage and packing, and we have cleared greenhouse space to cure our winter squash and sweet potatoes.
Both of these crops need a week or so of sitting dry in order to maximize sugar content and shelf life. In addition to our own storage capacity, depending on our yields, we may be renting cooler space from neighboring farms in order to hold what looks to be a bumper crop of squash and potatoes—we’re not counting our chickens yet though!
The newest family on the farmSpeaking of chickens, our lone rooster and hen begun a family together, and we have 6 little chicks running around the barnyard along with our two ponies, one filly, and our thoroughbred.
Hopefully with one more push of cutting hay, we’ll have enough feed in the barn to last through the winter. Despite all of these autumn feelings, there is still quite a bit of work to do! Enjoy the share, Chris
Enjoy the share, Katie & Chris