From the Fields: A Busy Time, A Time of Plenty
This post is from our resident Farm Steward – Emily Thomson
Even as the surrounding cottonwoods begin to change to ochre, the many flower farms which dot the landscape between Fall City and Duvall are in full bloom – with sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, dahlias and other beauties brightening the first week of fall with a riot of still-summery color. It’s a nice time for a scenic drive through the valley.
It appears as though our neighboring dairyman has mown the last cut of hay from his fields before planting his overwintering crop; we too are sowing ryegrass and legumes this week in fields which will be fallow until spring. Things haven’t completely slowed yet: September and October rival springtime for the amount of activity on the farm.
We’re bringing in late-season snap beans—a ton per day—a labor-intensive hand-harvest in addition to the other twenty-odd items on the daily list: heirloom peppers (like the Yellow Gypsy variety above), beautifully crisp celery, lovely white baby turnips, to name a few. Sowing continues in weekly successions to keep us in spinach, radishes, Japanese turnips, bok choy and arugula; we’re planning to place low tunnels on many plantings to keep them snug into winter.
The next month will see lettuce, baby greens and hot crops winding to a close and the beginning of harvest on huge plantings of potatoes, cabbage, squash and winter roots. Harvesting equipment idle since last season is being tuned up in the shop along with the routine repair and maintenance of tractors and implements.
At Ames, we’re rolling up drip tape, which we’ll reuse next year, and fixing our roads so that they’ll be navigable when it begins to get soggy. It’s a busy time, and a time of plenty—even the old Italian prune trees in the hedgerows behind the barn are offering up a sweet harvest, free for the taking for folks not afraid of the wasps. Remember the crickets who were supposed to start chirping in August? We haven’t heard them yet. Have you?