Typically I think of September as the month when things on the farm begin to slow down. Usually the first frost rolls through and wipes out a number of crops. Also, I (Joel) typically begin teaching part time. Normally we coast to the end of CSA and stagger through the year end close down. It’d be safe to assume we’re running on fumes.
But this year, things are not typical.
This year things are going full steam and there’s still more coming. Thankfully, we’ve got excellent help this season and we still have energy to tackle what’s up ahead.
As far as the garden is concerned, things are fairly normal. Frost dates don’t change much year to year and the normal progression of the seasons stays fairly predictable. If anything the garden is looking better than normal due to Daniel’s excellent management. We’ll see how the fall plays out--fall weather is very unpredictable.
Upcoming however is the long anticipated garden move. You may know from previous posts that all this year we’ve been living on our new land but still growing all the vegetables at the old land. This fall (as soon as CSA ends) we plan to finally move EVERYTHING over to the new land. We’ve done some work to prep the new land, but there’s still a significant amount of work left to do.
As far as our pastures go, things are slowly improving. We have been strategically moving around various chicken flocks (egg layers and meat birds) to help lay down good amounts of manure and kick start the vegetation. Ever-so-slowly we’re seeing results. We’ve also sent away soil samples to be lab tested so that we can amend the soil this fall and continue to improve these fields going forward. Recently we’ve been struggling with predator pressure on our laying flock and are struggling to keep our egg numbers high. In a few weeks the cows will return to our land for a final graze before the end of the year. Setting up winter housing for the chickens and our personal milk cow will be the last major projects to accomplish before the winter sets in.
On top of continuing all the normal farm work, we’re also building a wood fired bread oven! This project has been headed up by our worker Jed. It’s been a long build (mostly taking place on weekends or after work) but it’s nearing completion now. In a few weeks we’ll start baking (and selling) large batches of bread. If you want to learn more or get on the list to receive bread, go HERE.
And those are just the major moves summed up. The complete list of work still to be done is (like always) endless. That’s where the “hindrance” of winter becomes a blessing--we’re forced to slow down, take stock, and be at peace.
Running a small business is hard work. Running a small farm is also hard work. Building a small and diversified farm that direct markets (read:”more work”) its products on worn out farmland is no small task.
We couldn’t do it without your continuous support, your CSA signups, your winter engagement, your word-of-mouth advertisement, your cheerful enthusiasm at the drop sites, and your steadfast commitment to better food produced the right way. We work hard, but this farm exists because of your support. And we are thankful for that.