It's here...today! Hooray! http://www.fairfoodmatters.org/harvestfest/ What a thrill to be part of this wonderful SW Michigan event. It's at Tiller's International main grounds. Just a spit from the fields we grow on at Tiller's. So many great memories from past years that I always look forward to the upcoming one. I've met some great people, Will Allen, Richard Heinberg, and lots of local activists and farmers. I'll be promoting the farm and our CSA for next year. Stop and say hey!
On the farm the season shift is noted. The summer squash are nearly done. Cukes were pulled out and added to the mulch pile. The last melons ripened but were tasteless and also added to the eventual compost. Tomatoes are struggling to ripen a load of green fruits. However, the brassicas are rebounding. I cut some exceptional cauliflower the other day and the kale is growing so fast and full of great taste that it is selling out at market. The winter squashes have been slow to mature. Many years we have them by now. Because of the drought it seems the plants held off flowering till conditions improved and now with shorter days and cool weather they are maturing late. The few we've sampled have been bland and could use a few more weeks. The quantity of fruits is down. Each plant has 2-4 at most. The size is good though. A few butternuts and Pink Bananas are whoppers.
As the season shifts the planning and work for next year becomes the dominate effort. Beds are cleared and amended for next years crops. Cover crops are seeded into appropriate beds. The buckwheat is in early flower and oats will go into all the beds that will receive transplants next spring. I find the fall seeded oat cover crop does a nice job of maintaining the bed through the winter and with its die back, leaves a great mulch for transplanting through in spring. No tilling-no carbon fuels. I received my seed garlic a few weeks ago and that is usually the last field work done in fall. By then the tomato T-Posts and trellis will have been removed, posts to the barn and debris to the compost pile. The flow of seasons for the vegetable farmer are such a pleasure and always welcome.