19 Sep CSA Share: Cover Crops
To say that farmers spend a lot of time watching the forecast and checking the radar would be an understatement. Sometimes it can border on obsession. The past few days that obsession paid off. Starting the end of last week and working all day Monday, the mad dash to get empty fields planted into cover crop seeds began. Here’s the sequence of events: mow any crop residue, remove drip tape by hand, wrap up in semi neat bundles to take to the recycler, disc harrow, mix cover crop seed per individual field, spin out onto field, reload, spin some more, cover with disc harrow. Repeat. The let the rains come!
Working with two tractors in tandem, we were able to get about a third of the farm seeded for the winter. We primarily made up two mixes, depending on the future crop plans for the fields. The first is an overwintering mix of rye, vetch and crimson clover. Its main purpose is long term soil building by the addition of organic matter to the soil and providing nitrogen for any subsequent summer and fall crops. The second mix: tillage radishes, oats and crimson clover, will provide vigorous fall growth, then mostly winter kill, covering the fields to prevent soil erosion but be easily accessible for spring planting.
This week’s share sees the first winter squash of the season- delicata (also called sweet potato squash), as well as leeks, radishes and green beans. Delicata squash has a wonderful thin edible skin. I love to slice it into half-inch thick rounds- scooping the seeds out of each, baste with a bit of soy and toasted seasame oil, and bake on a cookie tray until tender and browned, about 20 min at 350 (flip them halfway through). Delicious finger food!
Visitors and farm members will be greeted by an incredible new tile mural at the farm, courtesy of local artist Katia McGuirk. Using Michael Alan’s artwork from our brochure and posters as inspiration, Katia translated the design into a mosaic. It is breathtaking! Be sure to join Katia and the rest of the farm community at Fall Fest on October 13th, 2pm until dark! We need volunteers, pie bakers, yarn donations and small children’s clothes donations!
Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.