This Week’s Harvest
Honey Bear acorn squash
Mountain Rose potatoes
Onions (red and candy)
Okra (delivered sites only, farm pick up will get it another week)
Dragon Tongue green beans
This week we continued our focus on prepping fields for the fall and Ben spent most of his time on the tractor. Last week I wrote about the window of time we were given between the fields drying out and the sun setting for Ben to get the old crop fields (flowers, onions, spring broccoli and kale, etc) ready for a cover crop sowing. With the beds mowed and tilled, he was able to spread the seed next chance he got. Here is a video of how we can sow 500 lbs of cover crop seed in just a couple hours!
Ben purchased this cone spreader last year for a good price as it needed some TLC. The bottom was rusted out and Ben was able to weld a new bottom and give it a nice paint job. We are often asked what we do in the winter, and repairs like this is one of the many things we do! These equipment improvements we (Ben) do help the efficiency and profitability of the farm. They also allow us to improve as farmers and stewards of the land. Which brings me back to cover cropping.
Ben spread a mix of winter rye and tillage radish over the fields. The tillage radish is similar to daikon radishes, just not harvested. Instead it is allowed to grow and gets very long and wide. The deep roots’ penetration and winter decay does so much for the soil from reducing compaction to providing aeration to replenishing organic matter. We are excited to have gotten the seed out this week to allow the roots to grow nice and big before a killing freeze. The winter rye will grow some this fall, go dormant in the winter and really take off in the spring. It will help with soil erosion, weed control, and when we mow it provide tons of organic biomass ( aptly called “green manure” ). With a strong chance of rain on Wednesday night into Thursday to sprout the seeds, we should get a great cover crop stand this fall!