We are really enjoying the beautiful late summer weather and appreciating the rain. The lettuce and cole crops are benefiting from it, even if it is a bit late for the corn and potatoes. We appreciate any benefit the increased moisture brings.
The other day I went up to check the cows and the sun was just coming through the cool morning mist. I said to myself, "What a beautiful day! This is why I love to be a farmer!" Evenings are equally nice as the sun sets over the hills across the river.
We have worked hard over the last month to prepare the soil for next year's crops. We typically cultivate as many of the weeds out as possible then we seed buckwheat. I'm not sure where buckwheat got its name because it is not a grain at all it bears seed. In any case, does grow quickly and acts as a really good soil conditioning crop. It has an allelopathic effect against grassy weeds where the roots give off something that helps to prevent the growth of grasses.
Here the young buckwheat plants are coming up in a fresh field belonging to a neighbor. He is so happy that we can use the field and grow crops without chemicals. We are equally happy because the soil is excellent quality and has very few rocks. We are looking forward to planting vegetables in it next year.
I set up lights in the chicken house to give them a longer day and their egg production has come back up a bit. Chickens will typically lay fewer eggs as winter approaches but I did not expect them to be affected yet. Anyway, it appears that the lights are helping so we hope to have enough eggs again soon.
Although our corn crop was not great this year, there is still plant material left and some poor cobs of corn. Rather than chop the plants down, I turned the heifers into the patch. It has taken them a bit to get the idea of eating the corn plants, but now they are loving it. I'm glad we can recover a bit more from the crop and give it a second use.
I spent time today banding cauliflower. If the heads of cauliflower are exposed to the sun, they turn yellow or purple so we have to band the leaves to keep the heads nice and white. Few people that buy their vegetables from the supermarket realize what is involved in growing the food we eat....
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