Root Cellaring Begins!

Each fall we move produce from the field, sort and store several crops for winter use: potatoes, carrots, beets, radishes, kohlrabi, rutabagas in the root cellar, and squash, onions, and garlic in cool, dry storage.  Yesterday I started burying roots in sand.  We find they store best if taken from soil, trimmed and placed in barrels with sand as quickly as possible.  When we dig them out each winter harvest day they as close to …

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Leaves Wanted

Leaves form one part of Ken’s compost. Ken mixes several components; it all depends on what is available.  He always has poultry bedding, leaves, and hay or straw. Some years he has used horse manure, rabbit manure, and parts of lake bogs or weeds. He puts up his sign and people can bring leaves and empty bags for reuse or leave us leaves in the bags and Ken can use them that way.  Most people …

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Coming Through – the Rye

  Ken often plants rye in the fall.  It will start growing later in the year than other green manures, and grow up again in spring.        It provides soil cover to lessen erosion, root mass and plant matter to boost organic matter. It tempers soil temperature to promote microbial life in the soil – all good.         It is always fun to see the rye coming up when other …

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Voles – Damage and Traps

Growing in a greenhouse often presents unexpected problems. One  is the vole; they are often called meadow mice.  They like to eat plants.  Once they move into a greenhouse the living is easy – shelter, warmer location and a ready food source – the greenhouse crops!  One year Ken lost most of a fall planting of spinach. Voles don’t take the usual mouse bait of cheese or peanut butter, so trapping them presents a real …

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Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week’s CSA box has the last of the summer tomatoes, peppers, onions or leeks, garlic, sweet potatoes, winter squash, potatoes, salad and braising greens, radishes, and parsley. Field Notes.  Monday morning Ken made a wooden box trap for voles.  Voles can move into a green house and wipe out an entire crop.  Think of it – a warm place to live and a salad bar to boot!    A well …

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The Season of Rustling

The soundtrack of this time of year is that of rustling.  The remaining leaves on the trees rustle in the breeze. The leaves under foot rustle as Oscar and I walk through them to and from the field.  As I pick the last of the berries, the leaves on the cornstalks are rustling.  This is fall.

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Changing of Seasons

As we approach the midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice, the days have become noticeably shorter, the temperatures colder.  The press is on to get the roots in the root cellar, wrap up fall tasks, batten down hatches, and prepare for the winter that now is surely coming This morning marked the first time I lit the cook stove.  I felt like I had to re train myself – all those factors …

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Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week’s CSA box has tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, onions or leeks, garlic, salad and braising greens, sweet potatoes, squash, and herbs.     Field notes.  This unusually warm weather has enabled Ken to catch up on some outdoor tasks – chimney cleaning, opening up spots in the field for green manures, etc.  We took a morning off – together ! – to pick up some grain for the animals.  It was …

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Moving portable coops

Ken now has two portable coops.  Today he moved both.  First he moved the small coop east. Then he moved the large coop down on the west side of the drive       The hens have discovered the compost pile, and are raking through it for weed seeds and insects

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Winter Squash in Racks

Ken likes to wait for frost to harvest winter squash for two reasons: the vines and leaves die back so the squash is easier to find, and many people believe a frost hardens the shell and sweetens the flavor.   Ken got two loads of squash in the yard.  I got the onions and garlic out of the racks and he put the squash into the racks.

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