Everything looks pretty dead on the farm, that's what's new. Not really new as we've seen it many times before but new for this growing season.
We're finishing up last minute tasks before the colder weather sets in. I think the field work is done as the ground is frozen in the morning and mud in the afternoon. The crops that are left in the field are at a standstill, not much hope they'll grow anymore.
I've seen turkey tracks, along with squirrel and mouse tracks but no deer tracks. That's good news with the fence we had installed this past summer. This is one year there are a few crops left in the field that can stay there throughout the winter without being devoured by the deer. I look forward to next spring and the absences of deer tracks through what we have just planted.
Planning for the 2009 growing season is in full swing now and for the next couple of months. Kelly measured and mapped out all our fields before she went out and now we can transfer them to graph paper and get an accurate feel for how the field dimensions have changed over the years. Yes, they change. Some get longer from plowing more of the field, some have their shapes changed as rocks or ledge show their faces, some lose space that was wet or otherwise not good land for farming. When planning the fields it's nice to have accurate maps so we can determine exactly how much ground to prepare and how much land certain crops will take. Nothing quite like going into a field to transplant and finding out at the end of the day we don't have enough ground ready.
Since we made field maps last time; probably at least ten years ago, we dropped some fields and added some new ones. We've added the “Wiggins” field and dropped the “Gilberts” fields over the past few years. We've renamed some and will add new ones as they become available. Good crop land is in demand so we've got to get out there and do some active looking; another winter project.
And on the home front, I got lots of things done on my vacation last week. I spent a day at camp getting that ready for winter, a day in the woods getting some wood out for the kitchen stove, a day washing windows before the window washer (me) froze, three days in the henhouse and a day picking up supplies for winter. The hens are pretty much done laying for the season; good thing I got some new hens this spring or I'd be buying eggs now. And yes, I got a big round bale of hay for the goat.
Although I got a lot done around the house I didn't manage to get into he garden for the last little bit of harvesting. I hope the mangels will be OK this weekend and I'm sure the Brussels sprouts are fine. We're still eating them from last year's larder. I've taken my soil test and have the results from the lab; I guess the garden will get those two barrels of wood ashes this weekend. Considering the ground was pasture for many years and then abandoned and left to grow up into goldenrod and milk weed, the garden plot is slowly being improved with compost and other soil amendments. I think next year I'll cover crop half of it and plant the other half in vegetables and flowers.
Until next week, Brian