What a beautiful day! I knew it was going to be a good day when I found this clover on my way out to harvest lettuce. I was really enjoying the rain this morning. I was telling Alec while it was raining and we were harvesting Swiss Chard that the weather we were having in the morning was my favorite kind of weather. Cool and with a little rain. The sun is out now and it is still pretty nice I guess.
We have a new person on the farm! Britainy, who has also been helping out in our wildlife center, is now working on the farm 20 hours a week or so. It has been a huge help to have another person with harvest days and getting big projects done on Monday. This time of year there is a little bit of a slow down because we are not transplanting as much, the greenhouse work is much less, and harvesting doesn’t take quite as long with the veggies we have at the moment. So I feel as though we are actually catching up with everything!
Most things are looking pretty good at the moment. Everything we’ve put in the last couple weeks look really healthy and we’ve been able to keep them weeded so far. I am excited to get out some sweat onions next week, the garlic is almost ready to harvest, and we finally will have a nice looking carrot and beet patch soon. It is also great to look out at the summer squash and melon patch with the ground cover down and see no weeds coming up.
One thing that has been disappointing this year is how things look in the two sections above where the tomatoes and melons are. That whole area needs some help. I knew it was little low on organic matter and nutrients last year from what I was with the tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. To deal with this, I added some compost and leaf mulch to the soil, however, I don’t think what I added was enough. So now I am trying to clean that whole area out. We still have some cabbage, lettuce, carrots scallions, and maybe a couple other things there that I want to harvest in the next two weeks. Once they are out I want to dump a lot of compost and manure on it and plant some buckwheat for a month then put in the winter rye and clover. Next year I’ll put all my fall crops there after the rye has finished up and we should be working with a much healthier soil.
I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise, but sometimes I am with how quickly soil here can run out of nutrients and how quickly you can add them back. This is partly due to the fact that my organic matter in the soil has always been a little low. Each year it slowly goes up, but until it is in the 5 to 6 percent range we will still have times when things can look a little poor. Adding compost, manure, and using cover crops are the tools to keep improving soil. It can be hard as these things take up time and time is often hard to come by around here. I hope with this short slow down I can work on getting some compost down in the field soon.