“Mark and I scrambled to pull in the last few peppers and a bucket full of cilantro by headlamp the night before the predicted freeze this week. It turned out to be a false alarm. The clouds rolled in and held the cold back, so we got only another small nip of frost instead of a hard freeze. It has been a remarkably mild fall but we may be reaching the end now, with snow and cold predicted. We’ll tuck the memory of these last bright days into our hearts to hold us through the winter.
Most of the heavy fall work is finished now. Carrots are in, and they are giants this year. Low germination and heavy deer pressure made spacing between plants very wide. Luckily this variety stays tender and sweet, even when it grows to large proportions. Thanks to the team from Middlebury College who came on Saturday to help dig them.
On Wednesday, the home crew got next year’s garlic planted. Half of it went into a section of the field that we left fallow this summer, to reduce the weed pressure. The other half went into a plowed-up section of cover crop. The cover crop was made up of peas, oats, and tillage radish, to add nitrogen, carbon, and air space to the soil. It was beautiful to see it turned with the plow and a team of horses, and find the white roots of the tillage radish grown deep into the topsoil. I can’t wait to see which planting does better come spring.
The only crops left to harvest are cold-loving celeriac and the winter leeks.
Now we look forward to getting animals settled into their winter quarters. The beef and dairy cows are on pasture, but getting some hay each day to supplement the scanty selection. They will come to the covered barnyard by the end of the month…”Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.