Monday, September 7, 2009

New Ground

We have turned up the ground in the Fogg Brook hay field across Hanson Road. These two new acres will host many of our crops next year. That will make for a much longer commute for us-- nearly 500 feet to the lettuce patch!
As we round out our third year at Broadturn Farm we are approaching our goal of six acres in cultivation, with half in vegetable crops and half in soil-building cover crop rotation. That means that three acres in any given year will be not be growing vegetables. But it does not necessarily mean that the land (or it's stewards) are "resting". On the contrary, we still work the land growing cover crops. Like lifting weights or running sprints before a race, our goal in cover cropping is to keep land primed for production by growing crops with lots of organic matter and home-grown nitrogen so that in the following year, the soil is healthy and well fed for a year of vegetables. Keep a look out for newly sprouting rye, oats, and vetch. (And, not to be too demanding-- can we order-up some rain to help germinate those seeds.)
This is the edge of the plowed field, called the "dead furrow" because it is empty of soil. A newly plowed field is a beautiful thing; like a frozen ocean of small waves. The dead furrow is like the mysterious place in the middle of the ocean where all waves must come from.
This is where the dead furrow comes from-- a double bottom plow borrowed from John Snell. Steel, shiny, sharp. Another beautiful thing.
The bees are doing well-- finally. It is the way the rest of the farm has been this summer: The rain made them hungry and grouchy. Even if they did like to fly in the wet weather, they would not have found too much blossoming. Now we have had some bright dry days and they are trying to make up for June and July.
This is a picture of about a dozen worker bees and in the middle: a big drone bee. He will be kicked out of the hive in the next few weeks. He has been free-loading off the hard working females all summer and now, as cold weather approaches, they will loose patience and he'll get the boot. You can see these large honeybees lolly-gagging around the farm. They don't sting, so you can actually handle them without getting zapped. Maybe you have a spare couch in your house or apartment where they can hang out this winter...

The harvest:
green peppers

The chicken harvest with herbs, veggies. Two gallons of stock in our freezer. Who wants to come over this winter for some chicken soup?
One last thing: A mist-made rainbow. Early in the morning during the lettuce harvest. I've never seen this, so I shamefully ran for the camera.
Blessings on the meal
John and Stacy

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