November 1, 2016

Autumn Rains on the Farm



We received a healthy shower of rain yesterday and today, under today’s blue skies and sunshine, the farm sits moist and covered with little pools of water. The ground was so dry from the intense summer that there are no pools of water on the soil, the pools are in the leafs of kale which bend with the tablespoons of water that have not found their way to the ground.
The trailer to the kid’s peddle powered tractor sits, glazed with a pool of clean, crisp rain water. The large rock at the events site has a few bowls that were worn into it over the past thousands of years – which too are filled with water.

By the end of the day most of these little pools of water will be gone, some will end up in the sky, other in the rock that holds them and much will be teased to the ground by the gentle fall breeze. The soil now sits dark and muddy saturated with enough water from the storm to stop all harvest and tractor operations. In the dark fields small green lines of cover crop are poking up in the weaving lines of the tractor that sowed them. This mixture of beans and grasses are the most productive part of fall and winter, by next spring these plants will have taken free water and sun and transformed them into organic matter and green fertilizer – literally feeding the soil that will feed our plants.

The hills beyond the farm as still dry and yellow with the grass from last year. The oak trees have most of their leaves and under them lay a relatively large crop of acorns. On the sloping ground that separates the hills from our flat vegetable ground in the bottom of the valley are our satsuma mandarin trees. The citrus fruit that has been green and hidden all summer now are bright orange and screaming out the farm.

Tomorrow we expect the soil to be dry enough to resume harvest activities. On the list to harvest are mandarins, radish, lettuce, kale, chards, fennel, beets and bok choy. With the sunshine we are expecting through the week we should see our small vegetables sizing up nicely and with Thanksgiving around the corner we hope to see our cooler shipping tons of vegetables to all of our markets.