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Ron was finishing the shingling job on the crew house and he said “Have you got arseupatree birds?”  He is originally from Twilingate Newfoundland, but now lives across the road from us and he’s got a twinkle in his eye.  “What kind of bird?”  “You know, the little birds that flip around as soon as they land on a feeder so they’re always bum up.”  Nuthatches.  Things are going to be interesting with Ron around.

We’re winding down the season here on the farm, or Mother Nature wound it down for us with a batch of colder than normal weather in September and October.  We are getting geared up for shoots production, and tomato grafting.  Never a dull moment!  The Warehouse Market will continue to be open all winter and we will do our best to supply it with veggies.

This morning the crew showed up for work meeting with painted faces for Halloween (see photo at end of post).  As they saw the look of surprise from Jen and me, they were obviously pleased with themselves in an endearing way.  Its so nice to be ending the season with smiles and good cheer, especially since things are ending a lot sooner than expected.

This Friday is the full crew’s last day of work on the farm.  We simply ran out of work for everyone.  With our fall greens stalled out from the cold, we were able to blast through all of our clean up and harvest jobs in record time.

The farm has never been so thoroughly prepared for winter.  Dani is going to stay with us, and will be focusing on making lots of pea, sunflower and radish shoots, and harvesting the greens in the heated greenhouse once they are ready in December.  She is showing a great passion for farming and wants to learn everything she can.

Yesterday she learned how to use the bucket loader, filling a trailer with compost.  She is also looking forward to helping us with crop planning, firewood making, and everything else that happens on the farm over the winter.  We’re also very happy Dakota has agreed to stay until December to train all of us in her greenhouse skills.

I’m excited to tackle some jobs that have been waiting for a moment such as this.  At the top of the list is building new hoop houses out of the parts that have been piled up unused for several years.

With extra hoop houses, we can plant melons, zucchini and cucumbers under cover for an early crop.  When these crops are planted in a hoop house, they are finished by late August.  This timing  is perfect for planting kale right after them for a winter harvest.

By planting our winter kale in a hoop house that is already set up, we avoid the situation that messed us up this year.  We were so busy in late summer, that we did not get our  hoop house for winter kale built and planted in time.

So once again, we find ourselves finishing another season with a full range of insights, emotions and plans that are propelling us into another year.  In all of this we are always grateful for your support of the farm, and hope that you are enjoying eating so close to the land.

We are always interested to hear your comments and suggestions, so please get in touch if you have anything to share with us.

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Winter storage carrot harvest is muddy business after so much rain

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Those signature orange boots on Dani, jumping on and off the broadfork.  With Mike in the background raking.  Thanks for all your help Mike!

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Nicola and Rhi are putting the tarps back on the field after a windstorm blew them all off.  We made little dams with dirt in the pathways to hold water on the tarps so that they won’t blow away again.  Hope it works!

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The irrigation pond is finally full again!

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Finally getting the greenhouse plastic back on the hoops after moving them.  This will be the last year for this plastic sheet.  Under the row cover is baby kale.

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Sunbeams over kitchen garden

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Happy Halloween!  From Rhi the fox, Nicola the rat, Dakota the raccoon, Dani the cat, and Marshall the light face

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