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.