We have officially moved into our winter season of planning for the farm. The tomatoes and all the lovely summer crops are on their last legs. As these plants move out, we are starting to add cover crops to some of the fields. Cover cropping is a vital part of the farming process because it helps cut back on weeds and increase the soil fertility for the next crop. So just as some of us need a rest this time of year, so do our fields. We are letting some of the plots rest that have been producing crops for us for quite some time now. Doing this allows the soil to recover its nutrients, so when we decide to put the new crop in the ground, the soil is ready to go!
As for what we are planting now: our full attention has been on getting garlic, onions, and leeks in to the ground. We have had an enormous amount of help from our gracious volunteers who helped us get these crops growing. This past weekend, our volunteers peeled garlic (at the cost of smelly hands), and then helped us plant a few rows. They then covered the rows with hay to protect them from weeds and from the farm’s arch nemesis - the peacocks!
We have a new goodie that all you CSA box members can be expecting soon - Peppercorn! We harvested the peppercorns from trees that surround our farm. Be on the lookout for these and send us your recipes as you experiment with them in your kitchens! As the days get shorter, our lovely chickens slow down on their egg-laying duties. The chickens are just like many of us; they like to take long vacations around the holiday season. We were used to seeing way over a dozen eggs during the week in the summer but now we are barely getting half a dozen.
Lastly, some new friends came to the farm last Saturday and helped construct a Bio-Char Oven. Paul Taylor and Linda Marchioni graciously took time out of their busy schedule to help build this oven for us during a workshop that they held at the farm. Biochar is charcoal that is specially made and infused with ordinary, live compost that can be mixed into farm and garden soil. Biochar has amazing benefits for both growing and the environment. It greatly reduces the amount of water and fertilizers needed, and it makes plants healthier, stronger and more nutritious. Check out more on their workshops here.
That’s it from the Farm for now. Hope to see you out in the fields soon!