From the Farmer

Week 23 – 10/22/2014

Rota

This time of year we coast.  Seedlings are planted, seeds in the ground, weeding is mostly finished, storage crops out of the ground.  The end is actually in sight – the list of things to do is finite and consists of cleaning things up and putting them away.  We’re getting to the point – almost there! – where we catch our breaths a little, take stock of the season and look ahead, and mostly think about how much we like November.  Late October and November leaves start turning and much of our work is… just… harvest.  Pick vegetables.  Wash, pack, and give vegetables.  Isn’t that easy?  It’s easy. 

This time of year we sometimes think about how good it must be to be one-crop farmers, with a defined swing to their season which, once complete is neat and tidy and put to bed.  Man, I’m just going to grow strawberries.  Or maybe sweet potatoes.  Oh I know I’m going to grow apples, you only have to plant once – awesome.  Prune and watch bloom, prune again, harvest, make cider.  Drink cider all winter.  Easy.  I’m doing that.

Veggie farmers don’t really get that.  Our season is constant… start, cultivate, harvest, turn under; start a different succession, cultivate, harvest, turn under; and so on so that we’re never not starting something, taking care of something, harvesting something, or preparing ground again for something else.  Instead of The Ballad of Michael Phillips (a well-known organic apple grower) a veggie grower’s song is sung in canon, in rounds.  “Row row row your boat” – next voice: “row row row your boat,” “row row row your boat”… “gently down the stream,” “gently down the stream”… “merrily merrily merrily merrily”… “gently down the stream”…  “merrily merrily merrily merrily”…

And that’s about how it is.  This is the time of year that we get to all the “life is but a dream.”  In honor of the end of our rota we thought we’d tell you what work we’re not doing any more and what you can look forward to in the next several weeks.  They all look really nice in the field right now and we hope you like them: beets, bok choi, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, celery root (celeriac), daikon radish, ginger, herbs (chervil, cilantro, dill, fennel, lemongrass, parsley), kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, hot and sweet peppers, radishes, salad mix, spinach, Swiss chard, turmeric and turnips, and produce we’ve harvested and are storing: garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squash.  Coming soon to share boxes near you.  

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Willowsford Conservancy

41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

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