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October 9, 2016
Harvesting and Getting Ready for Winter
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
Including this coming week there are five more weeks of pick up for the Main Season 26-week share. Directly after the conclusion of this season the 6-week Late Fall CSA begins. Planting and production has already commenced for fall and winter harvests; crops need to be in the ground and growing well before cold and dark descend upon our latitude. Days to maturity of crops will eventually double and perhaps triple when we're nestled in winter. Soon we'll employ hoops and row cover to keep outside crops blemish free from the adverse effects of a heavy frost. Eventually - think January and February - we'll only harvest fresh crops from the protection of the high tunnel, hoop house, and greenhouse. That's well down the road, but we have to plan for and prepare soil now, as well as sow and transplant. Our managed farm footprint slowly dwindles each week as we wrap up harvesting of certain crops and sow the hibernating soil with cover crops. Our mental map of the farm becomes easier to comprehend when we're only actively maintaining a small portion of what was managed at the growing peak of June, July, and August. Much of the farm fields still radiate a brilliant green with the cool weather suited cover crop mixes and will do so until we receive hard frosts and freezes with regularity. These cover crops are soaking up leftover nutrients from the soil as they gather sunlight and transform it into additional soil food for next year's cash crops. As they protect the soil over the winter they'll slowly degrade into next spring and release stored energy and the cycle will continue.
A fun favored method for meandering around the farm...sunset glows in the background.