First day of fall, how great is that news!? Twenty 28 weeks ago I sent out the first newsletter and it was just before the first day of spring. Since then we have been on that wild ride the growing season always gives us, most of it is a blur right now but will actually become clearer as the fall rolls on and we can step back and look at it. What a difference a week makes, last week we were preparing for Ivan and this week is quintessential clear fall weather. Soil preparations for the winter and next year are going smoothly and we will get most everything seeded down to cover crops before the next rains come early next week. Because cover crops are the backbone of our soil fertility program I get a very “focused” in getting them in just right. The perfect time to get them established is now thru the first of November and it is ideal to catch a rain just after seeding them.
Of course there are other things that we need to get done as well. The first of next years flowers went in the ground yesterday, yes the next season has already begun for us, from now until mid November we will plant a half an acre of flowers for spring harvest. There are other “putting the farm to bed for the winter” chores beyond the cover crops. Maintenance on the sliding tunnels, we move any dirt away from the rails, sweep them down and give all the wood parts a coat of linseed oil (it is all untreated wood because we don’t want the arsenic leaching into the soil where we are growing food). Taking out the rest of the trellising, pulling up the last drip lines and stowing it all away. The last big job is to move a quarter acre of “Big Tops” to it’s new field. That should take about a week in total and I want it done before we go to Italy in less than four weeks, yikes!
There is work to do on the house, work to do on the packing shed, the driveways to drag back up the hill after all the rains and people ask “what do you do in the off season?” Before we know it, it will be March again and time to start back to market! As Saturday is our last regular market for the season, this is the last weekly newsletter of the year. I plan to send one out monthly through the winter just to keep you updated on what we are up to, look for one just after we get back from Italy and then one just before the special Tuesday before Thanksgiving market. If we don’t get a chance to say it to you either this Saturday or before Thanksgiving, we do greatly appreciate your support of what we do here at the farm!