This is definitely the change of seasons going on. Mow down the larkspur and other flowers, take down the pea trellises, turn under the last of the lettuce; plant more sunflowers, the last tomatoes and seed the winter squash. Winter squash? That definitely is a sign of different things to come. Just as we will be treated by the first tomatoes and melons my schedule tells me it’s time to seed the Brussels Sprouts for Thanksgiving! Sometimes I am struck by how far in advance our schedule is determined. Things like when to seed and plant have been decided last year, by early December at the latest. Every fall we sit down with our notes and the seed catalogues and plan the entire coming year. Fortunately we can now do it on computer spread sheets which makes it easier to make changes. This year there are over 300 lines/entries that correspond to different varieties and planting dates. I always say that any plan is better than no plan especially, when in the heat of the fray, all I have to do is look at the list and say “Oh yeah, it’s time to seed Brussels Sprouts”. I then scratch my head in disbelief but know that this decision was made in calmer times with great deliberation, so off we go. Other decisions like where to plant those B. Sprouts may have been made years in advance by our crop rotation scheme, we now have an eight year rotation where the same crop will not be in the same piece of ground for eight whole years. Sometimes it is comforting to just follow the known path than to try and design a new trail!
The turkeys graduate today. They are now five weeks old, fully feathered and big enough to move out to the fields permanently. We have been letting them out daily and getting them acquainted with their new mother ship (a portable shelter for their nighttime rest) and the moveable electric fencing that will keep them in and the four legged predators out. First stop on the Tour de Peregrine will be in some of Betsy’s shrubs that she cuts for flowering branches (like the Pussy Willows), this gives them a little more cover from hawks etc. while they are still on the small side. Then every few weeks we will move them to “greener pastures” until they have made the entire loop around the farm.