The spring and fall farm seasons are similar in many ways, especially with the erratic weather patterns. The big weather difference, however, is that now the days are getting shorter and the soil getting wetter verses in the spring when the day length is increasing and soil is getting warmer. That subtle change, now magnified with this wet September, has made our fall chores more interesting than usual.
So in the spring we run around getting the ground ready for planting and in the fall we run around spreading compost, planting cover crops, garlic, shallots, and harvesting the summer (as if there was a summer) planted crops. I love this season, but there are literally not enough daylight hours to get the work done, especially when you only get one or two days of good field work weather. And trust me, when we get those days, we are as busy as beavers from dawn to dusk.
This week we are hoping to do all of the above and get closer to taking a long winter nap. My new team of horses, Sally and Sandy, are sure sweet to work with. Together, last week, we disc-harrowed an acre of ground that had provided us with green beans and tomatoes and then we planted winter wheat for a cover crop on top of it.
Speaking of tomatoes . . . I grew Japanese Black Trifele tomatoes this year, mostly on a whim. Mike and Joanie, at the Rents Due Ranch, had a couple hundred extra plants, so I, in a moment of romanticism, picked up 100. They were incredibly flavorful, but ripened too quickly and didn’t have good shelf life. I have put them on the “do not grow in the future” list.
Back to the horses. It was fun driving the horses through the tomato plants and discing them down. Every now and then a green tomato would burst and I would get lightly splattered. All and all, Sally, Sandy and I worked together for six hours. That was as close to pure bliss as I have come to farming with horses. I am looking forward to finishing the fall farm chores with them.
Thanks for supporting our family farm and our family of farmers. This farming year, with all of its challenges, is more enjoyable because the food we raise goes to our family of local customers.