The CSA season is nearly finished (our last pickup will be Nov. 1), but Kerry and I will remain working at the farm into December. We’re doing all the harvesting now because our summer staff of students and work-for-shares are back at school or have fulfilled their hours for the season. We’re also cleaning up the fields and preparing for next season.
Harvesting takes us longer without the help, but we have more time to devote to it since we are no longer planting, weeding, or doing other tasks involved with cultivation.
We’re chipping away slowly at field cleanup. We have to remove any materials that are on (or in) the ground before it freezes, or else we have to deal with it next year. Meanwhile, the materials and equipment may get damaged if left outside over the winter. We are currently focusing on removing tomato stakes, landscape fabric, plastic and irrigation equipment.
Next week, we will prepare the section of field where we plan to plant our garlic. We need to turn in the cover crop of buckwheat and make beds before we plant on November 2. After we plant the cloves (hopefully with help from lots of you), we will use our manure spreader to spread a thick layer of leaves over each bed. This will help insulate the cloves during the winter months, and it will help suppress weeds in the spring.
We are also planning on replacing the plastic on the large greenhouse where we grow tomatoes. Greenhouse plastic begins to degrade over time, so it is recommended that you replace it every 3-4 years. Not only has it been about 4 years, but there are some large holes in the plastic from general wear and tear. We will remove the plastic in the next couple weeks and leave the ground exposed to the elements for a few months. This will allow for rain and snow to help flush out any salts and minerals that have built up over the last few years.
Still plenty to keep us busy!
Until next time,