With the arrival of fall

GREAT NEWS… We were able to get most of our cover crops seeded Friday September 25th. We were hoping to have everything seeded on Thursday but rain came late Thursday afternoon postponing our seeding until Friday. We are thankful that we seeded even though our soils were a little wet because it seems that we have great germination due to the rainfall after seeding! (Did you read — I said I liked the rain!) This past Thursday we transplanted all of our strawberries to the field that we hope to harvest in 2010. Strawberry picking seems so far away.
BAD NEWS… This past week was our lightest harvest in four years which we are attributing to us being a mediocre farmer. If we actually knew how to farm we would have for sale plenty of onions, garlic, winter squash, kale, mustard greens, collards, broccoli and summer squash. We pretty much had a crop failure on all these crops. Our most recent issue being the ground hog whom has been devouring the toscano kale and the broccoli. The spinach isn’t doing so hot so we hope to foliar spray it however as I write this blog entry it is raining and you can’t foliar spray in the rain.
I definitely think that next year we need to do a better job dealing with the bug pressure that has damaged our fall crops. Not sure how yet, but at least we have the entire winter to think about it, and perhaps we will come up with something new to try for our 2010 season.
In addition, we are trying to think of another means for generating some income, and we don’t want to leave the farm, so at the moment we are dreaming of winning the lottery, hosting farm vacations, trading in the stock market and winning BIG, discovering oil on the farm, finding gold on the farm. And the dreams continue. Farming is just to financially unpredictable.
WINTER STASH: Today I canned a run of pepperoncini peppers. It seems that my run needed more brine so I am thankful that we have more peppers to try another run. I might need to soak the peppers in salt water for a day prior to canning because I think the peppers shrunk while boiling in the hot water bath for 15 minutes. I also froze some pesto and ground up some chili powder. No pictures because Carl has the camera. I will try a few photographs upon his return.
PRODUCTION NOTE TO MYSELF: After Fall crops are seeded in the greenhouse, implement an IPM for the seedlings, this may reduce crop loss due to snails and cabbage loppers feasting on an all you can eat buffet. (We lost a succession of tatsoi and our collard seedlings to this issue). In addition, our fall swiss chard did not germinate in the 200 cell with McEnroe potting mix. Needed to use McEnroe grow which is their peat based mix. (That is what we normally use in the 200 cells. Need better documentation of our practices next year.)

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