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From The Farm: Finally, Some Winter Rain

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We’d like to start this edition with a piece of really great news…it FINALLY RAINED!! After over 2 months with not so much as a drop, we were finally blessed with a couple days of much needed precipitation. Everyone out at the farm (including the pigs, chickens and plants) were very appreciative of the rainfall and didn’t even mind getting covered in a little mud. We still haven’t had our first hard frost this year, but it looks like temperatures will get low enough in the coming week for that first frost to finally hit.

SeedsWe have been steadily harvesting collards, turnips, kohlrabi, radishes, bunching onions and Swiss chard for the last several weeks. Our cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are coming along and we should be able to start harvesting those crops in the next couple of weeks. The guys have been working hard to get all of our summer fields cleaned up and ready for putting down cover crop seed. While the timing is later than we’d normally want to get seed down, we are still going to be able to get a stand due to the mild temperatures so far this year. It generally takes a little more effort getting the summer fields cleaned up. Taking down tomato cages, cucumber trellises and okra stalks can be a bit cumbersome to say the least.

TurnipWe are approaching that time of year when things finally begin to slow down just a bit out at the farm. There are always things to do (even in the middle of winter) such as pruning, winterizing your small engine equipment, feeding animals and so on, but the work isn’t quite as strenuous as planting, harvesting and cultivating. This is a perfect opportunity to take some time and evaluate how things went over the course of the year. It always helps to keep a farm journal to help you remember things like the dates of certain weather events, what seed varieties performed the best, which area of the field seemed to be lacking in terms of fertilization, and any other pieces of handy information. There are successes and failures every year when it comes to farming and working with the land, and it is important to take note of what worked and what flopped.

As we enter into the last month of 2016 and the holiday season, we hope you all have time to reflect and give thanks for everything that took place during the year, good and bad. We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We’ll see you again in 2017! Man, that feels weird to say…time flies out on the farm!

Brad manages our farm operations, which include our certified naturally grown farm outside Madison and the Kelly family’s plantation in Leesburg, Ga, known as Rock House Farm. Rock House Farm produces grass-fed beef, heritage Berkshire hogs, and two varieties of heirloom corn, among other crops.