Thursday, September 23, 2010

Harvest Moon

It's Fall and I cannot believe how fast this year has gone. It was and continues to be a very busy year. This weekend marks the last outdoor farmers market of the season for us. It's the last of 22 weeks. Next week we move inside to the Odd Fellows hall. A welcome move but one that signals transistion into the season close. We stay there until Thanksgiving. I'm having mixed emotions. I'm tired and looking forward to a slower pace but I'm excited that things are going well and want to keep the flow going.

We're still pretty busy keeping up on things here. We've been prepping beds and direct sowing the last crops of the year. Things like arugula, and other assorted Asian type hearty mustards that we use for salad greens throughout the remainder of the year. Also a little spinach, turnips, both hakurei and purple tops and French breakfast radishes as well as a bed of ciopolini onions for next summer. I'll continue setting and sowing beds for another couple of weeks as long as the weather holds. Some of these act as an edible cover crop but we have also begun sowing our tradtional cover crops as well. I normally use the "soil builder" but it has alot of rye in it and I find that the rye is really tough to get rid of in the spring. This year I am using oats and Austrian field peas with some common vetch mixed in. I'm hoping that will work out better.
I also use fava beans as a cover. They don't always make it through the winter but if they do I do let them go to make pods for harvest which is a debatable practice. I also direct sow fava's again in February, the same time we sow peas and our first successions of hearty salad greens.

It's been quite rainy here, in fact so rainy that our pond has already re-filled. This is the earliest year I have ever seen that happen. The plants are responding nicely. The leafy greens like kale and chard are especially loving it. Simply put, they are spectacular. Our little island is quite verdant at the moment. What's not liking the rain is the strawberries. Between the yellow jackets and the rain they are all but goners. Our July 1st sown peas have come and gone. I'd call it a success. Not a huge harvest but a job well done. Deer broke through the gate this week and finished off what was there but failed to touch the other crops. (note to self: peas are an effective trap crop for deer) The pole beans sown at the same time will be harvested for the first time tomorrow. Could have sown those way earlier. Bush beans would have been a much better choice. The winter squash is looking good. Better than expected frankly and I'll be watching them closely for signs of rot with all this rain. It won't be much longer. Second succession of corn is just coming on right on schedule. Soon we'll be saying goodbye to our old friends squash and cukes. It's been bountiful and we will miss you. And of course lets not forget TOMATOES. You know, those funny gangly things in the hoop houses we've been doting over since Friggin February. It's not been spectacular by any means until this week. They are on. I have a feeling we'll peak this week and then they'll begin to wane faster than normal. Get em while there hot peeps.

There's lots more to tell about but this is getting long. I'll save it for another day.

Kepp well,

Farmer John

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