Weekly Update: September 24th
For those of you who pick up your CSA share at our farm this week, you'll notice that there's a new big pile of woody compost alongside the driveway on your way in. This compost was delivered this past week prior to the heavy rain and is our "fall pile". We'll use it to top up our existing garden beds and make new beds for next season. We find that the cool temperatures of later fall are an ideal time to do such heavy work - and it saves us having to do it in the spring when our attention could be better used elsewhere.
This week we decided to clear our melon beds and seed fall crops in their place. Despite the problems we have had with melons we managed to get several dozen during our final harvest. Some are cantaloupe, some are honeydew, some still a little too firm, and a variety of sizes.
We normally wait to harvest melons until they smell sweet and have either a yellow skin in the case of honeydews or a pinkish skin in the case of cantaloupes. We weren't sure how melons with some green would hold up, so we ran a simple test. We chose a few melons at different stages and cut them open to inspect and taste.
In a nutshell, the more green the melon the firmer the fruit is but all still tasted great! Ideally we'd like to harvest every melon at perfect ripeness but it's nice to know that they're still very enjoyable when we're off by a bit.
Mentioned one or twice in previous weeks, we grew a cover crop of Sorghum Sudangrass in one of our fields as a step towards improving the soil quality of the field.
Once the grass hit nearly 12 feet tall, we asked the family of farmers who grow hay in a few of our other fields to use their much bigger machinery to do some cutting. We cut half the field down and left half as-is: green, partially standing, partially pushed over by wind and rain. It will be interesting to see if there are any notable differences between the two halves in terms of erosion protection or decomposition before spring.
A week after cutting the difference is very obvious though the still green and growing Sorghum will be killed by the first frost when it arrives.
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