Week #18 – Cleaning up the farm.

What a beautiful day. It was chilly this morning being in the low 40s, but now the 60s are great. Yesterday was quite the transition into cooler weather. I believe it was the warmest in the morning when we got to the farm and continually cooled off as the day went on. I found myself adding layers of clothing rather than removing them like I normally would as the day warms up.

This weather is setting me in the mood to start doing field clean up so I spent the morning prepping land to get in the winter cover crops. I pulled out a bunch of drip line and moved the ground fabric and stored them to use next year. I really liked the ground fabric method for the melons. After we pulled it all up the other day it was just bare soil left. Perfect for planting cover crops into. I did change my method on drip line storage this year. Rather than rolling up all my drip line I am trying the strategy of lining it all up on some ground fabric and leaving it there for the winter. It saves A LOT time now, but I hope it doesn’t get too tangled where I will be spending that time anyway next spring. My hunch is that I’ll spend much less time. Efficiency, that is the goal on the farm. Efficiency first, safety second. Safety always second.

Speaking of safety second, I took some pictures while I was mowing today. I was mowing the buckwheat cover crop I had put in last month. It had looked really nice Displaying 20150930_095730.jpgDisplaying 20150930_104612.jpgwhen it was flowering, but the flowers were dying back and the seeds were starting to form. This can be trouble if the plants start dropping seeds because buckwheat can turn into a weed real fast. These pictures were my view from the tractor as I was mowing. I don’t know if you can tell is the picture on the right that there are places matted down in the buckwheat. This picture is from the north field, which has no fence around it so deer must have been taking naps in the buckwheat field. They apparently love buckwheat because it was nibbled all over the place.

I also mowed down a spot in north field where I hope to plant some more fruit bearing plants. I am thinking I’ll put in a small strawberry patch up there next year. I had experimented with one last year inside the fence, which didn’t work out that great. Now I have a better grasp of how I want to grow strawberries here so I’ll plant a bigger patch next spring for some berries in June of 2017. I’m also trying to figure out where I want to put in some raspberries and blueberry plants. However, I may wait on these bigger fruit plants because I really don’t have time to be maintaining  all these things.

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