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An Amazing Fall Harvest

November 26th, 2011 by Joyce

Spring was wet with accompanying disease problems in the tomatoes. We had plenty of lettuce and cool season crops though. Summer was extremely hot and dry so there were no beans and the heirloom tomaotes did not fruit. The hybrid “4th of July” tomato did get over the effects of the wet spring and was the best producers all summer. For the first season since I’ve been growing for market, I had nothing to offer for over a month during the summer. Finally the heat broke. I had taken a gamble and sowed fall greens, keeping them watered by hand and it has paid off this fall. It is now past Thanksgiving and I’m still harvesting spinach, pak choi, tatsoi, ching chiang, several varieties of kale, diakon radishes, and turnips. Although we’ve had several frosts, which have killed all the nightshades, the brassicas thrive in the cooler weather. There are cycles in the weather and here in the Midwest I’m having to learn to adjust to the current weather patterns. I can remember years past where we had only a few days of spring and fall. Now it seems that the spring and fall crops are growing the best.

The livestock part of the farm is enjoying the fall also. We had a good hatch of the Ancona ducks and they are now laying. The heirloom chicks I hatched this spring are also laying their pullet sized eggs: Cuckoo Marans, Kraienkoppes, Americaunas, and Delawares. Some of the older hens are still laying their very large eggs, too. The Katahdins gave me 3 summer lambs which have grown well. The sheep are enjoying the daikon radishes and turnips along with their hay.

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