CLEANING THE FIELDS
The season is winding down and we starting to feel it around the farm. Amazingly, the weather has been holding out with near summer temps day after day. Our average last day of frost is September 13. And we’ve met that goal many times. Back in August we took a gamble when we pulled all the cucumbers in the high tunnel and filled it with beans, salad turnips and carrots. These vegetables are doing exceptional. We have been watching the turnips closely and sampling as needed. They will be shared along with radishes in the near future. We carefully roll the tunnel side up during the hottest part of each day to allow pollinators inside to reach the bean blossoms. Only a handful of tunnel tomato plants have been removed and the rest are still thriving, with a half bushel or more every other day. The greens are growing like crazy in the caterpillar tunnel as well. We should have produce well into November at this rate. What a lengthy growing season!
In the back of our property, we have noted rapid growth in the winter rye cover crops planted in the areas we will utilize next season. The weeds are growing as well, but better to have them germinate now than next spring perhaps. We also noticed that we were able to walk through the new field after an inch of rain this week. This is unheard of in the old field, where we would sink in up to our ankles in heavy mud. Even the pigs are happy to have the warm weather and lengthy fresh pasture as they will be overwintering with us and fed dry grass until it greens up again in the spring.
As the nice weather carries on, so does the work harvesting and cleaning out old crops. Expired plants are coming out of the ground and added to the compost pile. Each week, we remove more rows of black plastic mulch and irrigation line, a dreaded job. We’re also searching for posts, wires and large rocks we inadvertently left lay about for any number of reasons before the weeds consumed the garden. Hopefully Dennis and the rototiller won’t hit too many hazards next spring when everything starts over again.
Enjoying this fall weather,
Eric & Rebecca