Slowing Down? Not Quite.

Slowing Down? Not Quite.

For the first time in a long time, Monday dawned wet and rainy. It dumped and dumped some more, taking a break for lunch, and then returning in the evening for a final soak cycle. Mission accomplished; water table replenished, sweet peppers wrinkle-free, carrot digger no longer held up by overly-dry soil.

We enjoyed the day off from the constancy of the fall harvest, and used the time to clean up the red onions and transform the fieldhouses from their summer of basil into their winter of cover crops, soil building, and perhaps a few laying hens if we can find them.  When the weather cleared on Tuesday, it was back to the fields for more beautiful sweet potatoes (as well as everything else all at once). With the temperatures moderating, and the leaves starting to sparkle, it looked and felt a lot like fall here for a change; And what can be better than New England Autumn?

Everywhere I go these days, people ask me, "Is the farm slowing down?" they say, expecting me to oblige with a sigh of relief. Ever the incorrigible farmer, I can't quite confirm that report, so I shuffle a bit, look down at my shoes, kick the dirt a bit, and just say, "Well, not really." While there is a different rhythm to the day without so many jobs to do, the actual amount of labor required now on the farm is basically unchanged. It's just all of the same type of labor; Harvesting! My mind quickly goes to the weekly apprentice farm tour, where we counted up all of the crops left in the field. Carrots - 13,000 lbs. Potatoes - 8000 lbs. Cabbage - 11,000 lbs. Before too long we are getting close to 100,000 lbs and, well, it's really just time to stop counting and, well, just start picking. So, no, not slowing down. Just changing up. And a welcome change. Colder nights. Crisper air. And a steady map as to where to turn our attention nearly every minute. When that barn door closes on the day before Thanksgiving, we'll say we are slowing down. For now, it's just straight on til morning.

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