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End of the Season

December 5, 2013
The fava beans are up and growing for next season

The fava beans are up and growing for next season

It is cold today. The low temperature this morning was 13.8 degrees, though not for long. We started getting ready for cold weather the week before Thanksgiving. Originally, I was planning to leave a bunch of crops out in the field all winter, but I decided to harvest several of them and move them into indoor storage. I knew I would have to turn off the irrigation water, so I did that, too, even though that meant some clean up would be put off until temperatures warmed up enough to turn it back on. I can wait.

These bins will have to wait for warmer temperatures to be washed up and put away

These bins will have to wait for warmer temperatures to be washed up and put away

We’ve gotten a little tougher with the girls down here than we were on Sauvie Island. On Sauvie Island, we turned on the heat lamp in the coop if the temperatures got into the 20’s. Now, they don’t even have a closed coop and we haven’t put out a lamp yet. We did put up a tarp over two open sides of the coop to keep out the wind. I am keeping a close eye on them.

Over Thanksgiving week, I spread some mulch over the garlic and fava beans for next season. The garlic was just barely coming up, so I covered it up again. The fava beans were already up, so I had to be more careful spreading it around them.

The kale will stay in the field all winter and in the spring, we can enjoy it again.

The kale will stay in the field all winter and in the spring, we can enjoy it again.

Now that I am ready for winter, I can stop and think more about how this past season went and plan for next year. It was a very good season on our new farm, the longest I have ever had. We had great weather this year, especially in the spring. Though our soil is sticky with clay and silt, it can grow good vegetables. Most of the crops did very well. I did find out what pests I’ll need to work on in the future and it will be a long term project to bring some populations to an acceptable level. (My gopher count got off a bit, but I think we are somewhere around 60 gophers trapped this year. My drowned slug and squished cucumber beetles numbers are much, much higher.) We are already planning to open up a new field or two for next year and I’ll keep trying to come up with more efficient ways to plant and weed and harvest.

Mostly, I think we made the right choice to buy this place and I think about you, my customers. You have made it possible for me to have the best job, growing vegetables.  Good things to think about as we head into winter.

Hoop house temp today at about 11:30 am. Even on freezing, overcast days, the hoop house is a nice place to work

Hoop house temp today at about 11:30 am. Even on freezing, overcast days, the hoop house is a nice place to work

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. jorge lara permalink
    December 5, 2013 1:59 pm

    Thanks for the great veggies this year, Michele. Linda and I have enjoyed every last one of them, and we feel very luck to have local farmers like you and you husband that remind us that locally grown produce is clearly superior in taste and nutrition than stuff trucked in from out of state. We wish continued success.

  2. senecal66 permalink
    December 6, 2013 8:27 am

    Keep the girls warm or I will have to call Animal Rights!!!!!!!!!!!!! Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 20:37:33 +0000 To: bonnie3931@hotmail.com

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