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Winter Preparations.

On the Farm . . . what's happening this week

We are finishing our last minute preparations for the winter storm predicted this weekend. In an effort to get back to that, here is a quick run down of what's been happening these last weeks along with pictures.

My family was out this past weekend and good-naturedly pitched in to get the last of the summer trellising down and rolled up. The old saying, "Many hands makes little work." was proven true again. Thanks everyone!

We planted and covered next year's garlic crop. We more than tripled the amount we planted last year. Steadily increasing our supply year to year, we save a substantial amount of the current year's harvest to plant in that fall for the following year. At times, that limits the amount we put in boxes. Even though we had more to give out in 2015 compared to 2014, our goal is to have even more in 2016. To be sure, along with the stock we held back, we purchased more. It was a long day of planting, but the kids came out to help us finish the last row and cover it all with a protective 4-inch layer of straw. It has been hard to be patient, but it looks like persistence will soon be paying off!

We finished harvesting the Brussels sprouts, rutabagas, radishes, and celeriac crops in anticipation of the coming snow and cold temperatures. At a certain point fall crops are better stored inside versus in the field. We've finally reached that tipping point. Some of the digging and pulling was done in the rain. Our hands quickly turned into mud balls with the ends of our fingers sticking out, and Bill couldn't help but laugh at me when I was lucky enough to get an annoying itch on my chin. Fortunately for me, he didn't take a picture of the attractive smear of dirt I wore most of the morning! To a visitor it might appear that we are harvesting mud as you could hardly discern what crop was coming out of the ground. Later back at the pack shed, it was very satisfying to wash the crates of produce and see bright, orange carrots and shiny purple and white rutabagas hiding underneath the layers of wet dirt.

We have more to do closing the hoophouse up against the winter mix headed our way so I'm off to help Bill before delivering produce boxes in Madison and Richland Center this afternoon!

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