Transformation

Everything is different. As soon as we tucked those winter squash into the safety of the heated greenhouse, we turned around, and nothing was the same.  On Sunday night the temps plummeted to the low 30s, threatening frost, but not making good on it. The sweet potato vines took it hard, but everything else was fine and dandy. But it didn't matter. The calendar had turned to Fall, and so had everything else. The temps never got much about 70F all week. There was rain on Tuesday night, leaving the soil moist and the plants looking generally happy. We were wearing long pants. And sweatshirts. The cows were eating grass. The thought of 80F, hot, dusty, and chance of dryness was such a distant memory, as to possibly fall into the stuff of myth, legend, or rumor.

Sweet potatoes get our attention next around here, as they aren't affected by frost, but they don't like it when the soil temp goes below 50F. But, before we pull the spuds, it takes a little while to get the field ready. First we have to get rid of the weeds with the big brush hog. Then we need to get rid of the vines, which we do with a crazy, rubber-tined flail mower we call a "vine beater." Then we need to rip the sides of the beds up with the cultivator to get the undercutter bar beneath the bed. So, while all of this was being done, we caught up on about one month of field work, just like that. All of our early fields were mowed to get the lingering summer weeds down. Then the harrow went through to turn the weeds in and bring the soil up. Then the seeder spun oats and clover over the top, so the weekend's rain would pound them in and germinate them up. When it was all over we were left with discreet island of food - leeks, beets, sweet potatoes, cabbages, celery - surrounded by many acres of land that are now put to sleep; Resting from this years' weird, dry, happenings. Hoping it was just a nightmare that won't be repeated. And, wondering just where are we now.

We hope you enjoy the harvest.

Your Farmer,
Dan
(for Karen, Abbe, Zoe, John, Rebecca, and Sunny)