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  • Sarah Elizabeth Smith

New Moon Planning Time

Updated: Jan 15

Happy New Year from the Farm! It has been a really lovely, relaxing Winter so far; We finally have some snow and have been enjoying snowshoeing and sledding with Kale, exploring trails in the woods near the farm and taking advantage of the beautiful groomed trails in and around Sackville.


This week in our Winter CSA shares for our Sackville pick-up, we will be including:


Green Cabbage

Purple or Orange Carrots

Red or Yellow Potatoes

Beets

Red Onions

Garlic

Carnival Acorn Squash


From Ferme L'Hirondelle ~ BBQ Chutney and Zuchinni Relish!


Music, Spanish Roja, Russian Rocombole & .... several saved varieties that I've lost the names for.


We've been spending lots of time getting ready for a new addition to our farm family and are excited to welcome our new puppy home in two weeks! He is coming to us from a litter from Ferme L'Hirondelle and he seems to be a mix of many breeds including Border Collie, Labrador Bernese Mountain & Newfoundland. He is going to be a big guy and we are excited to spend the next few months, before next season gets underway, really being able to spend lots of time with him, training and playing and generally getting to know him. Kale, who has just celebrated his 17 month milestone, is really excited about his new puppy and is helping us pick out names.




We're in planning mode, here on the farm, and this is such a nice time in the cycle of the seasons. Next growing season is complete potential, a draft that can be re-imagined and re-created as many times as we like over the next months. I love planning where each crop will grow in our garden system because it is a living puzzle. Last season's efforts and unfolding has effected the soil differently in each of our plots. In some areas we have overwintered cover crop meaning that the weeds will be substantially less in those beds come Spring. In some areas we have spread ground covers like straw, dead cover crop and leaves, meaning that we will be able to incorporate that extra organic matter into the soil come Spring, for heavy feeding crops like brassicas. This Fall we opened up a new area of field which will be next season's Squash patch. The plot was covered with a generous layer of aged cow manure from a farm in our area and then plowed to turn the manure over into the soil. Late last Summer we cover cropped our front field with oats, peas and vetch, a mixture that will help to add organic matter and fix nitrogen for our leafy crops that will grow in the front field next season.


Mix of Oats, Peas & Vetch in the front field

Oats!!

I love witnessing how each successive season's planning builds on what has come before. In this way, with a view to how our farming practices effect not only the long-term health and structure of our soil, but have a direct effect each season on the integrity of our soil, we can plan to utilize different combinations of practices such as crop rotation, minimal tilling, cover cropping and mulching to produce optimal results for a variety of crops in different areas of our gardens in every season.


A few successions of Fall Rye starting to grow in our old potato beds in early October


The most exciting part for me, beyond of course being able to feed my family and community, is witnessing the effects of this ongoing practice of regenerative agriculture. Each year we see the soil become more workable and rich in nutrients, our vegetables taste better and the wildlife and native plant life around our farm flourish and grow in diversity! Next season we're really looking forward to maximizing the small windows that are available to grow short season cover crops like buckwheat and oats. These fast , dense growing crops will help to out-compete weeds and keep the ground covered when it's not in use for veggies. Keeping the ground covered at all times, especially with a thick cover crop, helps the soil retain moisture, protects against erosion and hard-pan and helps to protect all of the living organisms in the soil, giving them shade and protection. These cover crops also have the added benefit of providing food for our pasture fed laying hens! We're excited about cover crops!


Sending warm wishes for a happy January,

Sarah, Jet & Kale


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