Can you believe that us farmers’ are thinking about fall just upon summers arrival? We are now beginning to seed our first succession of fall crops which includes broccoli, kale, collard greens and cabbage. We are seeding transplants so we are once again filling up our propagation greenhouse benches. This is GREAT news to us on the farm because once we have completed seeding our first succession of fall starts, we are beyond our peak workload for the season, and we FINALLY have time to breathe a little easier. That means that most all of our winter squash, peppers and eggplant have been transplanted to the field and we are nearly ready to dig our first planting of potatoes.
The past couple weeks the crew has been DOING A LOT OF CROP MAINTENANCE. Weeding beets, carrots, cabbage, flowers, squash. You name the crop, and it has probably been weeded, at least a couple times! The crew also finished digging and hanging all the garlic, about 3 weeks earlier than in years past, mostly because the plants were beginning to die back. We prioritized this job over seeding our first succession of fall crops because our garlic seems to have a problem with fusarium for the second year in a row so we figured it is best to get the garlic out of the field. We have contemplated whether we should quit growing garlic but can’t imagine not eating this delicacy. Even if our garlic is not prime, and has fusarium, it has so much more flavor than that purchased in the store. So… For now garlic will remain on our production plan.
Our onions growing! We had about 4 days where our onion crop was relatively weed free and they are now too large for the cultivating tractor which means us farmers have been hand pulling the weeds removing their competition and we are hopeful for a GREAT crop of onions this year.
Garlic on the trailer. A couple people use a digging fork to dig the garlic up, very carefully, so that the bulbs aren’t damaged. A couple others brush off the dirt and place the garlic on the trailer. We let the garlic dry a bit in the sunshine before placing it in our curing racks. This allows the dirt to easily fall off.
Danielle placing garlic onto our curing racks. We used to hang it in bundles from the tier poles but have found that the garlic will dry faster and better using the curing racks. Our guess is that in our humid climate our garlic needs a little better air flow.
Justin placing garlic in our curing racks. It is a bit dangerous climbing on our tier poles and not for those who are a little nervous of heights. Justin is a Rock Climber so this is a piece of cake for him!
We also fenced in another area for additional pigs and picked up a few more little piglets. The Marscheau’s, in Edney South Carolina, bred and raised these feeder piglets for us. They seem very socialized thanks to the attention they and their children have provided these piggies.
The Marscheau’s bred and raised our piglets until they were weaned. WE THANK THEM! The Marscheau’s live in South Carolina which is just as close as many pig breeders in North Carolina. Here are the babies sleeping in their stall.
The babies’ mommy. This sow is a Yorkshire resting in her stall.
The babies’ daddy. This boar is a Hampshire and the Marscheau’s purchaseed this breeding stock from Indiana. HE IS HUGE!
The pigs home on our pasture and we are thankful that these little ones have been raised with a water nipple. They will be living in a tent the remainder of the season.
The pigs enjoying grass. They haven’t eaten much grain because they absolutely love their grass and pasture. It is EXCITING to watch the pigs eating grass!