Wind and Rain

There is a definite chill in the air this morning, and with the thermometer reading in the low 40s at dawn, it certainly feels like fall is here.

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Visiting students learning to milk.

A cold front went through here yesterday afternoon, but the rain that it brought never got close to this farm. We did have a quarter inch of rain on Sunday, but the farm remains profoundly dry. This cooler weather should lead to nice heavy morning dews, so that should pep the pastures up a bit, and hopefully will carry us through October.

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The lane at Sentinel Elm Farm at dawn.

 

 

The rain Sunday was accompanied by some really strong gusts of wind, and our little pasture turkey house went for a short flight before a rough landing. One turkey was killed in the event, and three others seemed injured. We moved them into the hospital ward in the barn, but things were looking pretty bad. Surprisingly, within 24 hours they were back on their feet and acting totally normal, so they were put back in with the big group on Tuesday.

Storage crops are coming this week, with pumpkins, winter squash and potatoes coming out of the fields. These crops are out there for a long time, growing big and full, and curing a bit in the field before we harvest them.

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Pumpkins ready for harvest.

These big crops are really capstones to the veggie production year, and the proper wealth our of farm can be genuinely felt looking into the greenhouse with all these beauties piled up for more curing before they out to the CSA or into storage. The watermelons have been coming in this week too, though they head out to market and CSA pretty quickly. The hot dry summer concentrated the flavors in each melon this year, and the results have been delicious!

This has been the final week for the student farmer class of 2016 in the Learn to Farm Program, with graduation this Saturday at Maggie’s Farm. This has been a wonderful group, and they have faced a truly difficult and unique season enduring this droughty summer.

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Milkers enjoying fresh grass.

They have all found ways to make our work better, they have made The Farm School a stronger place, and we have all justly enjoyed working alongside them. Some are going on to college, some to farm on other farms, and some are still working on their next move. They will all make the world of agriculture stronger.

Our forest-thinning project came to an end this week, and I think that we are all relieved that it is over. The machinery and traffic at the sight was really remarkable, and although the long-term impact of the work will be a huge positive for the land that we steward, the immediate impact has been astonishing. I will try to get down into the site next week for pictures and a good write-up of the whole thing.

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