This month’s Farmer Update is broken down much how the farmer’s brain is at any given moment: in constant reflection, focused on the current task at hand, and looking ahead to the next endeavor.
Reflection: November was the final farm push to wrap up a long, full season. Field take down is an intentional process; drip line and stakes are carefully collected and stored for reuse, crops (except for the solanaceae family) are churned for nourishment back into the soil, amendments are applied as recommended by our soil test, and some seeds are saved for the next growing season. Now we sit back more fully, reflect more deeply, and watch the soon-to-be luscious green cover crop seed grow.
Current Happenings: Alongside the winter preparations is our garlic planting. We saved garlic seed from last year’s planting (Creole Red and Inchelium) as well as adding a new variety of Turban garlic. Planting beds were prepped high for drainage and rice straw mulch applied to “tuck in” for winter’s frost and suppress weeds that have all of 9 months to surface!
Looking Ahead: You can see this month’s farmer reflection revolves most vividly around the seed and all it stands for. Moving toward winter and much needed rest, the seeds left from the seasons’ crops remind us of all the knowledge, memory and future adaptations it’s secured for the next year (yet again, farming and the cycles of nature remind us to follow in its steps as we prod forward).
The seed is where it all begins, deciding the quality, nutrition, environmental impact, and integrity of cultural traditions of the food we eat. Did you know in an increasing number of states seed sharing is against the law? Read why from Seed Matters and what you can do to ensure seed security is a pillar of food security. And whether you save or gift seed this holiday season, check out our seed resources on our Gardening Resources page to guide you.
You won’t see me much at the farm this winter as I hibernate from a long summer, so I say a gracious farewell to you!