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Farm Update, October 20

It was gorgeous weather this week and I know the season has changed. You can see it in the changing leaves and scurrying squirrels. I can hear geese honking noisily on there way down south as I catch the crew picking baskets of peppers of yellow, red, and orange. While working at a CSA one morning one of the members asked how the weather is affecting things. Well it is definitely harder to get up in the morning I said jokingly, but it’s true. It’s dark until almost 7am and quite chilly. Neither of those facts make me want to shed the covers and get out of bed.

Out at the farm cauliflower and greens are going gangbusters. Broccoli came and went way ahead of last year. We picked our last harvests of the season for squash, beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Eggplant will still be producing for a bit longer, maybe this coming week. We are weighing our options of mowing down the last plants of summer and getting our cover crop in. Now we plant winter rye because it is about the only option this late in the season for germination. In fact the longer we wait the less effective it will be. So we weigh the benefit of cover cropping versus one last harvest.

Garlic is in the ground for next spring as are strawberries, and early kale.  Godofredo and I talked some basic ideas for crop rotation. We eyeball about 4 acres which are currently being leased out for soy. We think half of that area could be a good move for the tomatoes. The other half maybe squash and cucumbers. Between strawberries, early kale, garlic, and onions almost four acres will need electric deer fence for the winter to preserve the plants and/or plastic mulch. Last year we didn’t get around to this until February and all the holes which got punched in the plastic became prime real estate for weeds. This season we are thinking ahead.

This coming Monday the farm crew will meet to review this season and plan the next. We will identify our successes and failures, plan our rotation which is crucial in order for us to soil test for next season. I like getting to this time of year where we see how we measured up and look ahead. That’s all for now. Have a great week.

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