Planning AheadInformation Miscellaneous Registration
As Fall starts to creep in, we start to plan ahead to the 2016 season, although in truth we have been doing that for a while! For instance, there is a section of the garden that was planted to rye last fall, which is a way of making that land more fertile, since it has been in production for 3 or more years. The rye came up before the winter of 2013, and continued to grow over the course of spring and summer, until it was quite tall.
The dogs went from running across it, to bounding through it, till they eventually stayed away altogether, since it was so tall.
Then it was cut for grain and straw.
Now the roots and leftover stalks will be returned to the soil to increase the organic matter and the overall health and fertility of the soil. This is called green manure – using the plants to fix the nitrogen and carbon, and then allowing them to break down in to fertilizer. Now the land will be ready for a new crop next year!
For the time being we are starting to prepare our high tunnel and hoop houses for the winter greens – hopefully we will have a milder winter than the last – fingers crossed. All the tomatoes and cucumbers are being torn out to make room for spinach, kale and winter lettuces. It never ceases to amaze me that 2 layers of plastic can keep spinach safe and sound in sub zero temperatures. If you’ve not tasted winter spinach, it is something very special – the cold weather coaxes the plants into concentrating the sugars in the leaves, making the spinach sweet. Yummmmm.