Growing a market garden in the Piedmont of Virginia

Posts tagged “deer fence

Future Plans, and bringing in the Fall Harvest

We’re finishing up our weekly market season here, only two weeks of the Saturday market left and five weeks remaining for our farm share program. We look forward to shifting out of planting and harvest mode and into building and project mode. The planting and harvesting never really ends, as we grow year-round in the tunnels, but we do get a little respite with only a once-monthly winter market to provide for from November through April.

outside the garden

Deer’s eye view of the garden. We hope to make this the view they see of the rest of our fields soon. Not that the deer have been a real problem for us, but it will be one less thing to worry about. Not to mention the effects a wandering cow could have on our crops. And our land is surrounded on three sides by cattle fields.

future fields

This is the field we hope to fence this winter. Then we will slowly bring the land into production so we can rotate our crop fields on a very long-term rotation. It will take many years to get the fields ready for planting due to the invasive weeds present. We are so grateful to have this acreage for expansion, rotation, and the production of fertility on our farm. We’re working towards sustainability here, and it is a slow process with the limited time we have available.

expansion field

This is the field we’ve been working on for the past year. Disced, seeded, and waiting on the rain.

more cover-cropped fields

Other two fields seeded. The field between the two tunnels will be the site for future tunnels! We’ll cover-crop them for a few more years until we are ready to undertake the project (and cost) of more tunnels. After last winter’s push to get the other big tunnel up we need a break. This winter we’ll focus on building a walk-in cooler and fencing.

crimson clover and rye

Rains came to the farm over the past few days, and our cover crop seeds have germinated! Crimson clover and rye here.

digging sweet potatoes

Lots of crops to harvest now, before the F word happens here: frost. Time for digging sweet potatoes.

sweet potato harvest

We’ve dug a quarter of the patch and yields were not great. Not sure if we will grow sweet potatoes again! We’ve tried for three years without much success.

swiss chard

The fall chard is amazing!

summer celery

Still trying to perfect my celery seeding dates. This batch struggled through the heat of the summer in the field… but the upcoming crop in the tunnel looks great. We should have lots on the market table for Thanksgiving stuffing!

pepper harvest

Clearing out a row of peppers in the little tunnel. Time for some stuffed peppers.

peppers

Mmm. Poblanos, jalapenos, and cayenne peppers. I finally made a batch of cheese-stuffed bacon-wrapped hot peppers, after hearing from so many market customers how good they are. Yes, they were indeed delicious.

broccoli

Fall broccoli lookin’ good. Despite the cabbage worms. They’ve really struggled with the heat and drought this fall.

spinach

Spinach, finally growing well with some rain and cooler temps.

roots

First fall carrot harvest, along with turnips. Made some ginger-carrot soup last night, yum: a match made in heaven.

market table

It’s a great time of year to enjoy the bounty of the crops we can grow here in Virginia.


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