Many folks think of farmers like schoolteachers – working hard for 9 months of the year, then sitting around twiddling our thumbs and eating bon-bons for the other 3 months. And as is the case for teachers, this assumption for farmers is generally far from the truth. Even without greenhouses and hoophouses at our farm, there are plenty of things to keep us occupied through the entire year. In fact, this time of year is probably our busiest. Not only are we trying to prepare for next season on paper, but we have been busy planting bulbs for garlic and cut flower production next year, perennials such as rosemary, lavender, thyme, oregano, marjoram, horseradish, etc. for increased herb production next year, and preparing beds and planting in cover crops that will hold the soil and help improve its condition for next year’s plants.
Add to this our list of projects for the winter (finishing our perimeter 3500 foot 8 foot tall deer fence, purchasing and installing a new irrigation system to use our pond water, learning to bottle our teas) and you have a recipe for a busy winter. Interestingly, we find that most of our farmer friends in the area are also exceedingly busy right now. Those with hoophouses find the weather conditions these days ideal for cool weather crops such as lettuce, kale, etc. to flourish. Others are catching up on long delayed projects like building greenhouses, cleaning up around the farm, finally getting their old tractor fixed, or heading to a conference to learn more about how to improve their techniques on the farm.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love being busy. Just remember we’re still out there in the fields actively growing foods and preparing for next year’s (hopefully) bountiful harvest. Just thought y’all would want to know we aren’t twiddling our thumbs…. yet. January maybe?