Sorry we've been a little inactive on the blog recently. Things have been getting busy with winter approaching and the growing season coming to an end (even though there is still so much to do to prepare for the next year's growing season during the winter months). We hope everyone has been taking advantage of the nice fall weather as well as eating as many apples and squash soup as you desire!
For CCF fall is a time of organization and preparation for the end the growing season and the start of next season. Some of the things we've been up to lately include..
1) Garden Clean Out: All plants in every garden need to be pulled out of the soil (roots included) and composted. This allows for easier tilling in the late fall. Also, if you leave plants in the garden, it increases the risk of diseases and blights harboring in the soil, so it's a good policy to remove everything and compost it. Leaving old plants can also encourage grubs and cutworms (as they feed off the roots), so again, it's good to get them out! Also, in addition to cleaning out the gardens and tilling, its also important to spread manure fertilizer on the gardens. Yup, pig poop. This will provide the main nitrogen source for next year's plants.
2) Seed Order: It takes some time to create the seed order list for next year. We usually write down every plant type we want for next year, and will order those seeds in bulk early November from High Mowing out of Vermont. We like to get the order in early because sometimes many of the seeds will sell out early. Most of the plant seeds are ones we have successfully grown in past years, but we like to add new varieties each year. We are also looking for suggestions for new plants to grow, so LET US KNOW WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IN NEXT YEAR'S SHARES! We will be sending out a survey for this very soon.
3) Garlic Planting: This will happen after the second week in October. It is good to wait until after the first freeze to plant garlic, but you want to get them into the ground before the winter permafrost sets in... It only takes a day or two, as you just plant the individual garlic 'cloves', mulch them with straw, and let them sit in the ground overwinter. Next spring each clove will sprout a plant from which it will develop a garlic 'bulb'.
4) New Greenhouse: This is a 72 foot long greenhouse going in on the "new" farm on Hardscrabble Rd. It will be our largest one yet, sitting just to the side of the garage, and across the driveway from the barn. We already have a good start on it, but it probably will not be completed until November. This new greenhouse will allow us to plant more seedlings earlier in the spring, which will in turn increase our produce output.
5) Life: Since the end of August, our three farm hands from the summer have returned to school. For all four of us, sports have taken up a lot of our time this fall, whether were coaching or competing! Fall is a time for challenging ourselves athletically, while also preparing ourselves for the winter months, which call for skiing and other fun outdoor activities!! Overall, we've all been very busy with work, training and enjoying the fall.
On behalf of CCF we want to wish you all a happy fall! Enjoy our recipes and blog posts to come!!
Lots of love,