Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes!
September is typically tomato month here on the farm. Usually we harvest them all month for seed production, but this year due to not having any tomatoes for seed we're spending our time harvesting and seeding from the tomato workshop. Our tomato workshop is much larger than usual so we're spending more time seeding it out than usual. The warehouse has the distinct odor of rotting tomatoes. Kelly, Elisa, and Mike Bowman are spending their days squishing and sluicing tomatoes.
Elsewhere on the farm we had 3.5 inches of rain last weekend. I guess field work is done for a few days. Luckily we had planted all the cover crops before we got the rain. Well, at least all we could; some fields aren't ready yet and probably won't be before the weather gets too cold. Those fields will get chisel plowed with the contour to help prevent soil erosion. The ridges left by the chisel plow will freeze and keep the snow and rain in the field where it can soak down over time.
We'll harvest the squash workshop – probably next week. We'll also pick the foundation stockseeds in the next week to ten days and bring back to the farm for processing. Not a lot this year; eight or ten different lines at the most. It will take us about three weeks to process these although not three weeks steady. It takes a morning to process one, then a full day to dry it and a half a day to prepare for the next one. It's a decent job if the weather is warm, but it can be done in the rain, so all is not lost. Rain and mud make it more interesting anyways.
We've had only very light frost here at the farm so things still look pretty good. The light frost we did have dropped the leaves on the squashes and pumpkins making it easier to find them.
It's starting to look more like fall around the farm. The leaves are turning and the birds are gathering up for their trip down south. I notice the absence of swallows and hummingbirds first as well as the crows and lots of ducks and geese gathering together. Another two or three weeks and the bulk of the leaves will be gone until mid-May next spring. You know, if you think much about it, we only have leaves for five months. So that's seven months without them. I'm sure you think I'm leading up to something but I'm really not; just an observation. It seems like we have leaves most of the year but we don't. Leaves are associated with warm weather so you can extrapolate from there.
I'll miss summer, I'll miss working in the garden, but I won't miss the humidity. I'm headed out to the garden to see what's left; probably some beets and Brussels sprouts. The bees are working the Black Cohosh hard now; if you don't have any it does well on the north side of a building and blossoms profusely this time of year. The smell is indescribable; really sweet.
Enjoy the cooler temps, Brian.