it’s fall for real now

Happy Monday everyone!

Things here at the farm have slowly been calming down compared to August’s hectic schedule (which completely flew by!) Although we still have 5 weeks or so of pickups until the CSA season is over for us, we harvested much of our food during the frost harvest a few weeks ago; the greenhouse is full of curing squash, and the now-cured onions have moved into the root cellar. Pumpkins are being stored on one of the wagons in the barn awaiting halloween.

sweet dumpling squash

Despite the numerous light frosts we had this past week, most of the greens and other plants out in the fields are still going strong thanks to the gobs of row cover we’re using! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this handy stuff before, but it’s been our best friend all year, so it deserves a mention. Row cover is a sheet made of polyester that helps with all kinds of things on a farm. In the spring we used it to shield young seedlings from all the high winds we got during the storms, and to prevent pests from ravaging them before they were able to grow strong. It was also handy on the colder days of spring, and has been lately, when it’s becoming more important to protect the plants from frost damage and generally keep things a bit warmer than the weather has allowed. It’s a pain to move it around, smells gross once it’s been used, and rips to shreds if not handled with the utmost care….but we’d be lost without it!

row cover behind Su and Virginia, harvesting spinach this past week, as the sun rose over the field

Unfortunately some things in the low parts of the field that were not fully covered did get frosted. Most have recovered since it was just a light frost, but we were holding our breath a bit to see what would happen on our field walk this past Wednesday.

frosted mizuna

the crew out observing

Sometimes we find interesting and weird things, like this praying mantis egg sac

A couple weeks earlier, we went out for a walk on one of the paths at the back of the property and came across this!

We brought it home and after some internet research to confirm that it was in fact an edible puff ball, we fried some up and ate it. (for the record, eating wild foods is not something to take lightly! There are some out there that can really harm you so it’s important to know for sure what you’ve got. Thankfully there aren’t any poisonous mushrooms that look similar to this giant puffball, so it was easy to identify, but there are other types of puffballs that are not edible. In any case, don’t eat something you aren’t sure of.) There are many edible wild plants around here, though – I will hopefully devote another post to them soon.

I went for another walk today and tried to observe the wildlife. It’s difficult to walk quietly now that the ground is littered with dry leaves, but I managed to catch a few glimpses of woodland creatures once I sat on a log.

One was this red squirrel who kept coming down its tree to look at me

Another was this nuthatch, who seemed to ignore me and go about its business of finding seeds, lodging them into cracks in the bark and then cracking open the shells to eat the inside.

As for the farm, there are still a whole lot of carrots, beets and potatoes to dig up, on top of all the greens and brassicas that are still growing. Tomorrow another week of harvesting begins!

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About tino

I'm an aspiring organic farmer living in canada. I talk about farm life, things I'm learning, other relevant topics like feminism, social & environmental justice, nature, animals, vegan food, and fun.

Posted on October 10, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi Tino,
    I am enjoying your muses and beautfiul photos! Did you know Grandma fried up and ate a puff ball we came across at Buckhorn??!!
    T-erst

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