Yes, celery root and parsnips are making an appearance on our table at the farmers’ market this week. We’re all longing for cooler, wet weather. Wandering around the fields this early evening, I am speechless for the beauty.
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It rained hard, seemed like all night. Thunder and lightening, which is rare in these parts, shook us awake around midnight. Just what we need. And more is on the way.
Here’s what it looks like this morning.
Field restoration is in full swing. Organic farming, almost by definition, strives to improve the soils. Whether by adding organic matter through cover cropping, taking soil tests and boosting nutrients through application of whatever is needed or rock crushing!
Several of our fields are very rocky. Several years ago, Paul bought a rock crusher, which has been earning its keep this month. The rocky fields are slowly (driving as the crusher runs is very slow…15 minutes from one end of the 100 yard field to the other) becoming rock free.
Fall is coming on strong, as the summer crops peak. What to do? Just work a little harder, longer and stronger, knowing that rain will come, things will slow down. There will be time next to the wood stove, with a book and a cup of tea. But for now, it’s go, go, go. So glad we are up to it. And thanks to everyone that works for us or buys produce from our farm. We couldn’t do it without you.
Today we were presented with a beautiful fall day, lots of big fluffy clouds, lilting through a big sky, over hill and dale, casting moving shadows on the undulations below. With just a hint of moisture, as the clouds misted the fields, dampening the dust, sweetening the soil and doubling the scents. It’s teaming with life out there!
Yes, it’s weird. The days are gorgeous. We are hearing of snow and cold in much of the country and we sit in bliss with the whole day feeling like a warm summer evening. The sun stays low. It doesn’t get too hot.
We know we need rain. And we’d love to see it on the horizon. But we’ll put up with this loveliness as we don’t have much of a choice.
We’ll be back at the local Farmers’ Market this week, after a three week break. And we’ll have plenty!
It’s a beautiful day. As Christmas approaches, we are collecting our thoughts and preparing to take a few days to devote to our family and friends. For me, that means baking cookies, planning menus and moping the floors.
For Paul, that means planting carrots.
We’re so excited to be hosting Christmas for the first time ever. Lots of my family are coming to town, spending time in Sonoma. We’re all avid cooks and this is certain to become a wonderful holiday to engage and enjoy each other. It’s sure to live on in my old memory bank as well.
The weather is much cooler than we are used to here in Sonoma Valley. It’s predicted that we will have more than 10 days in a row of below freezing temps. Everything is compromised with weather like this. We’re trying to keep water running as cold crops fare better when the ground is moist but the pipes are frozen well into the day. Couldn’t get the water on until after 2 on Friday.
The crew is starting later, wearing more layers, working in the greenhouse as much as possible, but no denying it’s no fun harvesting vegetables in this weather.
It’s happening again. Shorter daylight, cooler nights,
The pie pumpkins are all cut and lined up, as they cure. They will be picked up and brought indoors before it starts raining. We will sell them throughout the winter. Our winter squash crop is small this year. It was planted in new low-fertility ground. Building soil takes time.
Today is Thursday, a big pick and pack day for the field crew.
We have some beautiful fields, with fall crops coming in; Lacinato kale, celery, celery root, dandelion greens, savoy cabbage, brussels sprouts,.
The greenhouse is filled with lettuce starts and greens.
And the first crops of tomatoes are finished, the drip lines pulled, trellis lines cut. The stakes will be pulled out soon. Then on to the next crop.
It was premature to think that summer had begun. It’s sprinkling now. The greens are greener when seen under a grey sky. Many summer crops have been in the ground for weeks, and are struggling to stay ahead of the insect pressure. Cucumber beetles are very active and making a mess of the first bean crops, beet greens, cucumbers (natch). Once the heat comes, the plants will outgrow the damage. We believe in history and the power of positive thought.
Here’s a virtual “Walk-Around” of the farm today.
So much is happening. The weather, the great dictator of what happens on the farm, has been very generous to us. It must have been over 70 degrees F. today. Beautiful. We’re planting spinach, turnips, radishes, lettuce, pea seeds in the field. Once planted, some are covered. We may plant beets and carrots this week.
The greenhouse is starting to really fill up with freshly planted flats, some covered, some not. The first planting of tomatoes have blasted out of their flats and pushed the remay into puffy pillows. So have the peppers. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, fennel and onions were all started in the greenhouse flats last week or before.
Lettuce, chard, kales and collard are all being transplanted. Once in the field, they are also covered to insure against wild weather swings. We hope they will feel secure enough to take off.
There is an experiment in the new field with planting oats, wheat and barley, side-by-side. Which will be the most beneficial to this soil? We’ll see.