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October 8, 2014

What’s our day like? I’m glad you asked.

At this time of year, the sun is coming up later and later each day. Needing sunlight to harvest, the crew comes in at 7. It’s early October and everybody is pretty much on auto-pilot. We know our roles and we know what we have to do.

With Autumn comes a noticeable decrease in field work. There are some things left to do, however, and we take advantage of the sunny, if cool, day. We’re cleaning up the greenhouses. Removing old plants and bringing them out to the burn pile. Stacking tomato cages one on top of the other in anticipation for next May. After we pull any wily weeds from the tunnels, we can close these down for the winter. Our farm has six caterpillar-style greenhouses
We’ve cleaned out two almost, with four remaining.

Of course, we continue to harvest until ol’ Jack Frost comes nipping at our heels. This morning, we’re bringing in cool season crops like turnips, radishes, kale, and lettuce. With shortened daylight and nights dipping into the 40s, plant growth is slow. We over plant in the fall in anticipation and there is plenty of choose from. Our goal, of course, is to run out the day before the last frost. Sometimes we are successful. More often, we run short or run out of time to harvest it all. At the same time, the crew in the packhouse are busy washing the harvested produce. Last week was rainy and muddy which made quite a mess. Things seemed to dry out over the weekend and it goes much smoother.

At 11, we break for lunch. Delicious beans from our neighbor, Breslin Farms, provide the foundation for a hearty soup. Christina makes sure to add in some cabbage, carrots, and broccoli freshly harvested from our farm. Bread has been baking since 7 this morning and it rises just in time for lunch. Christina makes the best bread (Crumb bakery comes in at a close second place) and it’s my favorite today.

In the afternoon, we pull T-posts from the tomato field. We have hundreds T-posts to pull and this job stretches through October. It’s not particularly difficult but there are alot of posts and it goes slowly. Once we finish this job, we’ll pull the tomato plants, pile them up and burn them to destroy any disease spores. We’ll need to wait until a calm day and I have to remember to be careful. Last time I fell in the fire. It was hot. That’s a story for another day.

The harvest crew heads out to the fields in the afternoon to finish up. It’s warmer now and that makes everybody a whole lot happier. Many of our crops are finished for the season but you would be surprised how much we have going on in early October. We work hard to stretch out the season as long as we can. By 4:30, we’ll finish for the day. The crew is tired after a long season but they’re starting to take measure of that we have accomplished this year. I’m proud of them and they know their work is both valuable and valued.

Christina and I hope that you enjoy your produce this week.