Summer Harvest

by jean-paul | July 31, 2012 at 05:00 PM | categories: harvest, maine | View Comments

Surprise! The hot, dry weather has not wiped us out. Things on the farm are still going well, in fact.

The sheep continue to munch on pasture. With no significant rain for weeks, though, the grass is now hardly growing at all. Fortunately there's plenty of room and plenty left for them to eat. And maybe it'll even rain again at some point.

There's plenty of action in the vegetable plot too. Just recently, this was our garlic:

Now we've harvested it and started the curing process.

We've been eating our own chard, kale, and lettuce for a while now, and more recently broccoli and cauliflower have joined the mix. Jericho also made 15 pounds of turnip saurkraut (saurrueben) from some of our turnips. Some other turnips were offered to and declined by the sheep.

Not that the vegetable plot is going perfectly. Our brassicas have been set upon by cabbage moths. Our cucumbers and winter squash are swarming with cucumber beetles and squash vine borers. Mexican bean beetles are in with our beans. And slugs... well, slugs will eat anything and everything.

Chicken is on the menu once again as well. I think our broilers had a happy two and a half months out on the pasture, scratching in the dirt and chasing after bugs (not to mention eating unsustainable quantities of grain). Now they're in the freezer, waiting to go into the oven.

We've had some visitors come by, too. Snakes are nearly constant companions here. The snapping turtle showed up for a couple days and then seems to have found somewhere else to hang out.

And we also had a great surprise yesterday in the orchard.

Yes, that is a single, perfect cherry (we ate it, it was delicious).

There's still plenty to do yet this year - carrots, sweet potatos, beets, parsnips, and plenty more won't be ready for harvest for a while yet - but days are getting shorter, and things are coming out of the garden instead of going in. And we're already talking about winter cover crops and what to do differently next year. There's plenty of work left this summer, but it feels like we're well into the slow slide towards autumn now.

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