Monday, August 25, 2008

What's New At The Farm 8/20/2008

Last week I talked about earwigs; today I'll go back to what happening out here on the farm.

The weeds are under control as the growing season winds down and the harvest season gears up. Most crops have spread their leaves out covering the open spaces between the rows so the weeds won't grow there. There are of course a few weeds out there but we'll get most of them before they go to seed. I have a pet peeve for Galinsoga at home as I have very little of it and hope to keep it that way. As far as the fields at Johnny's the weed seed bank is very high in many fields, so we are more apt to kill the small weeds in hope that eventually the bank will be reduced in size. A weed seed bank is the term used for the number of viable weed seed in the soil. The higher the number of weed seeds the harder it is to achieve control of them. A key component of total weed control is preventing weeds from setting their seeds. It's easy to spot the weeds in the trails that are going to seed, and it's easy to remove them but weeds often grow in places you'd think they would not. I was walking through a field of Sudan grass last week and was mildly surprised to see the amount of purslane growing in the understory. I guess we'll mow and till that field this week, we'll plant something else like oats and peas, or oats and clover there.

We have one tomato to harvest this fall for seed. We processed on Tuesday, sluiced on Wednesday and when you read this it will be on the dryer. Mike Brown raised Washington Cherry this year and delivered it to Johnny’s on Monday this week. We presented the processing on Tuesday's crop walk. Our next harvesting and processing will be the squash and pumpkin line and stockseed increases. Those will start late next month. All we have other than those above to harvest is Jerusalem Artichokes, a decent job on a warm fall afternoon. We'll dig enough for sales, some to replant and take the rest down to Highmore Farm for winter storage. Hopefully we'll have some decent tubers to send out to the customers whom need a spring shipping date.

We haven't seen any deer tracks on the farm since the deer fence crew got done; that's a good thing. I have seed a couple of turkeys wandering around. I don't see them as much of a problem anymore; I don't foresee the large flocks we once had. I really haven't seen much wildlife out my window this summer anyways. It could have something to do with moving my office and the corn trials grown higher than my window, blocking my view.

This is a slower time on the farm than usual because of the lack of seed productions this year. Normally we would be harvesting tomatoes for the whole month of September, but without them we have managed to catch up on a lot of projects and have accomplished a few we didn't plan on doing. The fields have been trimmed around, we pulled some stumps out and, if it ever stops raining, we'll get our open ground seeded down. There's still time to plant oats and red clover, at least for a week or two.

Next week I'm on vacation so Susie's doing a guest column.


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