Blessings of Fall Weather

It’s cold at Brookwood in the mornings now. We wear fleece and hats while we harvest early in the mornings. The long underwear, wool socks and warm boots will come out of storage soon. Work sharer, Melinda Gammon, snapped these pics of Judy and Simca at the wash station last week. That’s Simca, dunking Swiss chard in cold water (brrrrr!), and Judy in the hat.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons on the farm, the others being spring, summer and winter:-) The cooler fall temperatures and shorter days result in slower weed growth. Crops “store” in the field: I don’t worry that they’ll bolt or go by when I’m not looking. Morning dew stays on delicate leafy greens until 8 or 9 AM, easing the urgency to harvest these in a hurry. I like to think the woodchucks are slowed by the cooler temperatures, too. I know. They aren’t. They are really eating as many of our veggies as possible before they begin their hibernation.

Something I really love about farming in the fall is that I can once again think about more than the tasks that MUST be done today, tomorrow, by the time the rain starts, before the wind picks up, before or after the sun and heat take hold, etc. What have I been doing with my reclaimed brain capacity? I’m still pretty farm-focused, but now I’ve expanded the range of my vision. Last week I began to drag my co-workers through an evaluation of the season: What worked, what didn’t, how could it be made better? At first they were reluctant (I think the cooler temps had started us all on the way to our own hibernation routines!), but we’re on a roll now. It’s been a phenomenally productive and fun year at Brookwood, and it’s satisfying to review our successes and to plan for more.