Saturday, October 31, 2009

Last Tasks

All apologies for not writing more recently!


You know that you are nearing the end of the growing season when you can count the remaining major tasks you have to complete on one, or maybe two hands.  That’s not to say that there’s not an endless array of things you could do, many of them very helpful (if not necessary in the grand scheme of things), but there are only a few things of pressing importance that really need to be done before the truly cold weather hits. 


Before things wrap up, we need to:

Finish weeding the strawberries (almost done, maybe a half hour more with a crew of 4)

Mulch the strawberries (cover the plants with hay to protect them during the winter)

Plant the garlic

Mulch the garlic

Remove the rest of the plastic mulch and drip-irrigation tape from the fields

Clean the tractor implements and store in the barn cellar

One last swipe at cover-cropping the remaining open fields once major harvesting is done


That’s really just about it, ignoring for the moment the fact that we still have harvesting to do for the last week that we are open, the one-time winter share we are offering Thanksgiving week, and a few additional sales to restaurants and local farmstands.  Soon, in a couple of weeks, my hours will drop drastically and I will be able to focus on a combination of personal creative projects, farm study and travel with my greatly expanded amount of personal time.  I will continue to put in hours at the farm throughout the off-season, and hope to learn a lot and get some interesting projects accomplished. 


Some things that I will probably work on at Appleton during the off-season:


Some kind of information database organizing farming knowledge, procedures, schedules and checklists at Appleton.

Field scheduling for next year.

Seed ordering.

Equipment maintenance. 

Budget work.

Construction projects (such as a hoop house for tomatoes) and equipment/infrastructure maintenance.


Eventually, the weather will turn a bit milder around the beginning of March and we will begin to prepare the fields with plowing and we will start to plant seeds in the greenhouse.  I am looking forward to going through another season with this year’s experience under my belt and gaining whatever perspective and wisdom that will offer, as well as learning some new skills and taking on some more responsibility.  In particular I hope to do some of the primary field preparation and plowing with the Kubota tractor and participate in harvest management once the distribution starts up again next June. 


Have a Happy Halloweed, everybody.  Peace and love to all.



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