Here Comes July!

IMG_0436

We’re cruising into the real heart of summer, with July just a few days away.  This is the breathless time when we are doing all of the things at once: final field preparation for Fall crops, seeding of said Fall crops, transitioning spent Spring beds to next plantings of leafy greens and roots, and weeding, watering, fertilizing those precious full-season crops (like tomatoes! eggplant and peppers), checking each day for any sign of a blush.
I mentioned weeks ago what a sizeable crew we have this season, and by now they are really starting to fly on they’re own, with a solid knowledge of the farm layout, tool inventory, harvest & wash station techniques, and how to do a million+1 things at market with a smile.  It’s an absolute breath of fresh air to have dedicated, motivated “kids” getting the gears turning smoothly.  (See above picture of them goonin’ around at a recent equipment demo day in Suffield, CT… That’s not our huge farm or huge tractor!).
One arduous task that we’ve previously never had a hope of accomplishing, is the weed whacking of our goat pasture, which is too steep to mow with the tractor.  Historically this sloping land is rather shy on nutrition, which runs off the hillside with the rain, and so grows a slim variety of grasses, mostly “bedstraw”.  The goats put up with it (with some whining), but would much prefer a more diverse pasture mix.  In order to give more tender grasses & legumes a chance to germinate ahead of the bitter bedstraw, we should be keeping it mowed and be “over-seeding” other grasses on top of the ground that would then germinate and improve the balance.  This week one of our crew members spent the better part of 3 days weed whacking that hillside (see photo above), and we’ll seed in advance of the next predicted rain event.  Hopefully by doing this a few times, we’ll have a lush rotational-grazing system to keep the milking ladies happy and as well fed as possible.

IMG_4503