This was a great week for first veggie harvests of the season! We took a few early carrots, the squash and zucchini are ramping up production, and we even got into the potato beds and dug some beautiful potatoes. Carrots and potatoes will stick around for a few weeks, while squash and zucchini should be available for a couple months.
These newbies join some of the last of the season’s greens to round out what is available this week. Kale and arugula are done for the season, and lettuce should be available one more week.
Our new foray for the week was into cover crops. The value of cover crops was highly emphasized during our visit to Full Earth Farm last weekend, and they recommended the book Managing Cover Crops Profitably, which is available online for free as a PDF for anyone else interested in learning more. Full Earth Farm currently maintains about 30% of its arable land in cover crops, and aims to increase that to 50%. Now was the perfect time for us to integrate cover crops into our fields, as we transition from our old to new field. The lower section of the old field was planted in a mix of sorghum and millet. The section on sorghum in the cover crop manual praises the crop for serving multiple purposes: suppressing weeds due to its dense growth, aerating the soil with its root system, controlling certain species of nematodes, and adding organic matter to the soil. This cover crop will get tilled in to the field when the majority of it is flowering, then we’ll decide to plant it in veggies for winter/spring or to replant with a winter cover crop for additional weed/insect/soil fertility benefits.