December 12, 2016

Fall to Winter

Fall to WinterFARM NEWS

A wind whipped through the farm, leaving many of the trees naked, their leaves swirling around them briefly before finding somewhere else to settle. After the windy days, the apricot orchard looked different with not many leaves on the trees and not many on the ground. I was left to wonder where exactly did they go?

Closer inspection showed that the cover crops, now almost half way to my knee, hid some of them. Before the wind storm, the orchard looked like shedding trees with a floor covered in cover crop and yellow leaves. Now, the floor is not only the neat lines, but waving lines of legumes and grasses that where drilled into the soil almost a month ago.

Next to the apricot orchard, our figs stand, still too connected to their leaves to let them go. Many of them have fallen, but most of them have not, and their fig pattern baldness is one that starts at the bottom of the tree and works its way up, leaving the fig trees with a curious texture. I suspect these leaves will not last long. We started to receive our first light frosts the past few mornings, and this is always the hint from Mother Nature that the time has come to let go of last season’s fashion in preparation for the bald branch winter that precedes a spring of new neon green leaves.
Fall to Winter

The bare trees show off a color that is seldom seen on the farm. The branches of the apricots are actually a tender red that would not exist now had the summer’s leaves not provided it with full cover from the brutal and relentless summer sun. Next to the fig orchard, the evergreen citrus enjoys being the center of the farm’s attention. Their dark green leaves provide a backdrop that complements the bright orange gems that we are harvesting just as fast as we possibly can. Soon all of the Satsuma Mandarins will be gone, and then the dark green Murcotts will be ready to take center stage.

The hills are on their way to green, only a few pockets are still showing the golden grass from the past summer. The oak trees are matching the figs with the rate at which they are losing their leaves, but the mighty oak has no pattern of leaf loss – they all shed equally from every part of the tree until they are all gone. The acorn crop this year was not too large, but large enough to collect what was needed for replanting the empty spots of our restoration projects.

Enjoy your boxes - Thaddeus