Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hello 2012

Welcome to 2012. We are gearing up here on the farm for what we hope is a good year…our 10th farming and our 9th CSA season. Hard to believe that it has been that long. Those 10 years have seen a lot of cover crops, compost, hay, straw, wood ash, lime and organic fertilizer added to our soil, and we are looking forward to reaping the benefits of those years of soil feeding. Over the last several years we have begun to see noticeable improvements to the soil, both in its texture and fertility.

In that time period we have also changed the layout of our fields several times. Areas that are susceptible to wet conditions are no longer farmed for annual crops, but have been replaced by perennial plants or laid fallow. We have also been breaking new ground in the areas where we have run the Parker’s sheep.
For some of the poorer soils on the farm we have implemented a system of continual mulching. We cover the beds with a deep layer of hay, and add more several times throughout the season. This mulch acts as a nice “canopy” over the soil surface, keeping it from getting compacted by rain, or dried out by the sun. It also serves to keep down weeds and retain moisture during droughty conditions.

Our electric tractor has proven a boon too, as the disking attachment allows us to easily make “raised beds.”  Put on the cultivator, and it allows us to break up the top couple inches of the soil, minimizing the need to till the beds. These techniques significantly improve drainage, while minimizing disturbance of the worms and other life in the soil.
January Work
This unseasonably warm weather has been a pleasure to work in over the last week. We are lucky to have our intern from 2011, Luke Knutter staying on as a hired hand for a couple days per week. We plan on getting caught up on a few things this winter, ahead of the Spring planting push.


Activities at the farm this week include the 2012 seed and equipment orders, inventorying,  budgeting and planning, cleaning and organizing the barn, maintaining the deer fence, and tractor maintenance. Next week will include more deer fence and equipment maintenance work, as well as planning and site work for our proposed high tunnel. More on that in our next post.
Fields at rest

Rebecca working on the seed order

Rocky at rest

Luke sorting row cover

3 comments:

Kaneko said...

you should be pleased with the rain today!!?? :)

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