More mulching, and carrots

Rain today means blog post today! This has been especially true lately, when it is hard to leave the fieldwork to focus on website, email, etc. Today's rain was unexpected: I was raking straw into piles while N. was harvesting red potatoes, with loud thunder overhead for at least 20 minutes before precipitation actually materialized. During the heavy rain that followed, we got some things done at the NRCS office and now a blog post materializes (really?) from the Raw Deal in downtown Menomonie. 

 a recent kitchen harvest

a recent kitchen harvest

What to say about this week:

  • We began harvesting lettuce after a midsummer break
  • Colors are changing: we're seeing red peppers, orange pumpkins, and creamy butternut squash
  • Hail!
  • First ever carrot harvest
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If you've ever harvested fresh carrots, you'll know that after these were washed, they were infinitely brighter. Our various carrot beds have been on my mind lately, carrots always remaining a surprise until harvested for market; and we were very pleased with these sweet heirloom roots!

This same harvest day, a storm gathered just as we left the field for a brief morning break. Heavy rain, wind, and hail ensued and I may have been talking loudly at the window in disbelief. I was ready to accept that, after plenty of success this season, we would have to deal with lots of crop damage. 

Convincing myself that it was not worth worrying about.

(I tend to worry)

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Turns out it was fine. Somehow, damage was limited to a few peppers, 1 single tomato (that I've seen), and some now ragged kale, collard, and chard leaves. I accept this continued good fortune.

We continue to allow our soil management plan to evolve as we get better at mowing with the scythe and using the mulch that is produced. This is really fun! Recently, I turned over a bed where salad mix was growing in the spring. I hoed the lettuce plants and covered the bed section with straw. This morning, a couple weeks after mulching, I gently raked away the straw to reveal gorgeous, well hydrated soil into which I planted spinach.

That's all for this afternoon. Thanks for reading!

-ppppp