Preparation

Getting ready for winter on the farm is a big deal. The people have to have a source of heat in their houses so we move and stack wood. Sean installs wood stoves. We buy insulation and plan to install it.(That part isn’t finished yet). We continue to produce and process food all winter, so we have to offer farm team members housing with heat and insulation. We are happy to invest in this kind of infrastructure because we are so grateful to have people who are willing to work on the farm all year.

Another winter prep job is getting the soil covered. We are trying to get winter cover crops planted by around September 15. Often it doesn’t get done until later, but it sure works better if it is planted earlier! Our goal is to have all the land covered before winter sets in. Andrew and Olivia are mowing crops down that we’ve finished harvesting, lightly tilling the ground, and planting cover crops like rye. For new ground, or weedy areas, they mow, till, and pull the c-tine harrow through to expose weed roots to the drying sun. Of course this works better in dry, sunny weather! After the roots are dried out and pulled up, the cover crop can be planted.

We also want to get our precious sources of fertility covered before winter to prevent leaching of nutrients. We got another load of Annapolis Valley Peat compost delivered. Before the truck had even pulled out of the yard, this farm team had the pile covered!! They also don’t want any weeds growing on the pile. This is all such excellent preventative maintenance work that reduces weeding time the following year.

Andrew and Eli triumphantly standing on the newly-delivered compost with a cover on it. Photo: Olivia
Irrigating this week’s greens and onions
Kara with Pepper in the van on top of bean trellis and drip tape removed from the field to make way for cover crops Photo: Olivia
Squash bugs on zucchini. We are getting advice about organic controls for them.
The harvest van started to leak so Andrew and Karina tried to syphon the fuel out and catch the leak. Karina called her dad, who is a mechanic, to try to figure out what to do. Meanwhile, Kara and Sarah are stretching out and measuring insect nets, and then rolling them up for storage.
Andrew is mowing a new area with the John Deere while Olivia is tilling with the Kubota. What a great farming pair! Photo: Olivia
Andrew in the background on the Kubota going through a new area we want to bring into production. He’s using a C-tine harrow to drag weed roots to the surface so they dry out and die.
Mowing the clover between beds of peppers. The red peppers are really ripening now! Photo: Olivia
Hooking the old greenhouse plastic to the Kubota to drag it away Photo: Kara
Kara dragging the plastic. The team was so happy to get this picked up, folded, and put away. It was collecting water whenever it rained, which is perfect habitat for mosquitos to breed. 😦
Andrew and Olivia at a crop rotation meeting. The new Earthway seeder we got on sale is in the foreground. Can’t wait to spread those seeds!
Radicchio crop coming on. Photo: Karina

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