And it won’t stop until a deep freeze which hopefully comes after mid October. The farm crew – mostly Danielle, Justin and Emily – have the crops looking exceptionally beautiful and pretty much weed free. We spent a lot of time weeding and hoeing the past couple weeks.
Although for the past month we have been weeding garlic and greenhouse crops, those seem very manageable, mostly because during this time we don’t have a lot planted in the fields which allows us to keep these crops fairly weed free. During the early part of the season we are able to spend a little extra time trying to remove each and every weed so our crops have no competition. It is very gratifying weeding early on in the season and seeing the crops particularly weed free. It isn’t until we’ve got about an acre in production that the “battle of the weeds” begins. We are now at that point in the season – with potatoes, onions and a couple successions of greens planted – when I feel the uphill war with weeds begins. Once we have a lot of crops growing we have to become much more efficient at weeding. We must find that balance in removing just enough weeds so our crops will flourish, while trying not to worry about getting rid of all the weeds, and finding that balance is the most difficult part when maintaining one’s crops. We love the Appalachians because it has the most biodiversity of anywhere in the world; however, part of that diversity includes a quite a few species of bugs and weeds which makes it a challenge farming here in these mountains!