What’s Happening on the Farm?

At The Farm: Week of Nov 13-20, 2013

This week, the farm has needed preparations for the final steps of Warm-Cool weather farming. Root and cole crops are in the ground; weeds are for the most part under control; and the erratic swings of recent weather lets us know that winter is on her way. It’s time to finish getting root and cover crops in, if not to be beaten by weather or weeds, and bed building is underway for next year’s sweet potato crop. This year’s beautiful crop is reflective not only of good day to day crop need management, but also of good bed building practices, appropriately timed.

Paraphrased, Hillary explains, “if you can seed now with a good winter cover, the plants will hold the soil while building organic matter, keep weeds down, and be frost killed before next season’s seed. This can eliminate the need to till prior to planting, preserving soil structure and life forms that allow a soil to infiltrate well, drain well, and provide continuous release of nutrients to plants.” Cover cropping can give the life and structure of the soil plenty of time to develop. Refrain from tilling prior to next year’s planting will allow the system to remain intact and undisturbed through the season”.

Winter Cover over Former Sweet Potato Area

Winter Cover over Former Sweet Potato Area

Luffa Sponges

Luffa Sponges

The Luffa sponges have all been harvested, and laid out to dry during the rind removal process. While not all of them escaped the bite of frost, many were mature and harvested prior to frosting. The main difference between the two is that those harvested before frost are ivory white after removing the rind. Those which got frosted are a darker brown. (Feel free to stop by and peel one open if you want to see how this is done.) Also, Hillary took three of the Java cockerels to the meat processor on Monday. This will provide a little meat and also help improve the bloodline of our rare breed flock.

In other Farm Related News

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association held its 28th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference this past weekend in Durham. From what I’ve heard, it was a great success, and had excellent speakers, sessions, and overall turnout.

The new proposed FSMA regulations commenting period officially ended on Nov. 14. However, the period has been again extended until Nov 22. If you do not know how the newly proposed rules would affect you as a farmer and/or processor- Please learn more, and submit comments/suggestions about how to make this a piece of legislation that is fair and works with small farmers, instead of needlessly against them. See  http://sustainableagriculture.net/fsma/ for more information, and how to comment.

Can Drive Pizza Extravaganza Nov 21 at the farm. Come by, drop off some cans, and enjoy some of Hillary’s almost famous wood baked pizza for lunch 12:30-2:00! Followed by Herb Garden Cleanup, 1:30-4:30, and dinner for volunteers from 4:30-6:00.

Post by James Fry

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