This week was a little cooler than last week, and although the days are still long and warm, we are beginning to give a little bit of our attention to preparing for winter.
On Monday, we finished the last row of the garlic. It is great to have this whole crop out of the ground and curing. we are also now flush with garlic around the house, so things have been tasty and highly vampire-repellent at most meals. Over the course of the week, we got around to hanging all of the cloves in the cow barn and the pole barn to dry. We also did some cleaning and organizing, since most of the onions will soon be ready, and all of the onions will also need to dry and cure for storage into the winter.
Also on Monday, we had another new calf born. The calf’s mother was up the road at one of the satellite pastures, and we did not even realize she was pregnant until we got a call from one of the neighbors to tell us that there was a calf in the field!
Tuesday, we spent time mulching the fall zucchini and cucumbers, in order to suppress weeds and disease. The main blocks of cukes and zukes are already past their peak and their yields are decreasing in both size and quality. In the afternoon, we spent time seeding kale and spinach, some of which are for the fall, and some of which will be transplanted into the greenhouses and overwintered for early next spring.
Throughout the week, we have been weeding the storage carrots, hoeing fall brassicas, and, as always, transplanting. This week, in addition to the usual lettuce, we also transplanted fennel, chinese cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli.
After work on Friday, we went over to a nearby farm to take some silly pictures for a scavenger hunt the Christina is participating in. The directions called for un-conventional gardening advice.
Also on Friday, we had the opportunity to help out at another farm after work. Riley, who works here at Luna Bleu a few days a week, also helps out at an organic dairy in Royalton. He needed a few extra hands getting some hay under cover, and we got a chance to see the farm as well as helping out with the end of milking. The farm is run by an older couple, and is in a time of transition, but it was cool to visit with the Jersey, Ayrshire, and Guernsey ladies, as well as great to work up a sweat chucking bales.
Saturday was a very exciting day. First and foremost, it was Sidney’s 21’st birthday!!! To celebrate, we rode in the Harpoon Point to Point, an annual bike ride to fundraise for the Vermont Food Shelf. We rode 25 miles in the Windsor, VT area on an absolutely beautiful day, and we really enjoyed being on the road with more than 800 other riders. After cooling off, we celebrated with Sid’s first legal beer!Sunday was also full of activity. For the first time this year, the State of Vermont sponsored Open Farm Week, a week when farms all over the state open their gates and host tours, open houses, and other activities. We had an open house on Sunday, which included farm tours with Suzanne, make-your-own pizza, lettuce transplanting, and coloring, which was very popular with the WWOOFers. We also took advantage of the hot oven to roast some extra veggies that were around, including onions, garlic, tomatoes, and potatoes. Roasting with a live fire imparts a really amazing, smoky flavor to all the veggies, and its a great way to use the oven in between pizzas.
We are also keeping up with harvest for CSA and market, which are both moving tons of produce. We are getting into the summer carrots, as well as fresh onions, garlic, and hot and sweet peppers!
Although we are still pulling in big volumes of produce almost every day, and with melons, the big onion harvest, and plenty of other crops still to come, but the frantic energy of July has transformed into a fast-paced but calmer August. Its hard to believe how little time we have left here at Luna Bleu before we head back to school, but we are still learning new things every week and having a great time!