Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What's New At The Farm? 10/21/09

I'm back....................................

Last week's vacation in northern Maine has left me bone chilling cold. It's 43 degrees outside my office as I write this and that would have been warm last week. I was approximately 100 miles north of home and what a difference 100 miles makes. Daytime temps reached the lower thirties and nights were in the mid twenties. Add some wet snow and a camp that was marginally heated and you've got the perfect recipe for a vacation. Oh well, we had a good time anyways. Peggy told me the other day that she wanted to go somewhere tropical this year and I told her I'd take her north for a few days; then home would feel downright tropical. I don't think she liked that; probably won't work either.

This weather reminds me more of November than October. I thought October was warm days and cool night, not cold days and even colder nights. The woodstove at home has been getting quite a workout in the past month or so; for that matter we pretty much used in all summer except for September which was warm. Guess I'll have to think about firing up the furnace soon. Yippee...

Harvesting continues with the tomatoes done and the peppers progressing. We have been irrigating the peppers nearly every night for a week so we could finish harvesting and so employees could get plenty. Many people harvest, wash and freeze them for winter's use. There are tons of them still in the field but, by the looks of the weather, they won't last many more nights.

We've picking the last of the seed productions this week. We did two squashes, one summer squash and two pumpkins this year. We need to get them out of the field soon as, with the repeated frosts, they're looking better and better to the deer and squirrels. Turkeys also like them and if we want any seed at all we'd better get them harvested. Turkeys will bore a hole in them to gets the seeds, squirrels will do the same and deer will eat the whole fruit. If we see lumbering squirrels, bloated turkeys and waddling deer we know they're feeding on our crops.

Except for the cover crops we have planted, things are starting to look pretty dead around here. We've done much mowing this week and will start pulling plastic and taking down trellises this week. Although it's easier, and a lot more fun, to pull plastic in the spring, I prefer to get it done in the fall; nothing like pulling plastic out of the mud when it's 30 degrees. Or should I say frozen mud. Add some breeze and spitting snow and you're looking at a perfect day. Pulling plastic in the spring is by far easier, and much more pleasant. Most fields we'll get to this fall but a couple of the wetter ones will have to wait.

Amongst harvesting and pulling plastic, there's more than enough work to keep us busy through the fall. Processing squash and pumpkins for seed, cleaning seed, planting overwintering crops, harvesting the few trials left in the field and all the equipment needs to be washed and put away before winter. We're done with the grain drill so that can be vacuumed out, oiled and put away. The irrigation pump needs work; a pipe has worn through which needs to be fixed. The tractors will get their maintenance done before storage and so it goes...

Until next week, Brian

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