Notes from the Field Week 14
Notes from the Field
I imagined myself writing this changing-of-the-season post under a cool September sky with a pleasant breeze off the Arlington Res. Unfortunately the weather is not cooperating with my plan and it’s yet again near 90 and humid as heck.
Anyway, here goes. Despite the hot weather continuing, the farm does turn a corner in September. Much of the season is tied to daylight hours and how many days a crop takes from seed to harvest, so LexFarm is undergoing it’s normal September shift. Alexandra has gone back to school; Allison moves on to her fall/winter job (except Tuesdays, thank goodness!) and we see fewer high school kids during our Friday volunteer harvest mornings.
We are able to accommodate a smaller staff in September because our CSA harvests include more storage crops (which we harvest all at once, usually with volunteers, and then cure and store), and more long season Pick-Your-Own crops (like husk cherries, tomatilloes, hot peppers, and cherry tomatoes).
With lessening daylight hours, the weeds don’t grow very fast so we’re able to spend less time weeding crops, too! Our days are filled planting our final crops for the Summer and Fall CSAs, mowing and turning in finished vegetable plantings, seeding cover crops, and harvesting bountiful veggies.
Just after the farm season becomes a monotonous blur of zucchini and tomato harvesting in August, September throws a pleasant curve ball, with new tasks, and a different rhythm, allowing us to fall in love with farming all over again.
1. What’s under the row cover? Our latest plantings of brassicas: radishes, arugula, and turnips. We’re protecting them from tiny flea beetles.
2. Allison (left) and Emmy (right) getting it done! Allison’s cultivating the aisles in our chard/kale field and Emmy’s shaping beds for fall spinach. My heart has never been fuller than watching these two confidently display their tractor skills last Friday.
3. Oats and peas are up on the hillside! This cover crops will add organic matter, nitrogen, and stability to our most sloping field.
4. Our latest chard planting is just perfect. It will be in the stand this week and CSA next week.