This has been the warmest, most vegetable friendly fall that we’ve experienced in 19 seasons at Featherstone Farm… by far. Never before have we been able to continue harvesting so far into the month of November. And never before have we seen the growth in cover crops this late in the season; the place now is covered in a verdant carpet of rye and vetch, oats and peas.
As I wrote before, it’s nice to come out on the upside of climate change for once!
My great grandfather’s memoir- the inspiration for all we do at Featherstone Farm- cites only a single season in his long life in agriculture (he homesteaded and farmed in Featherstone Township near Red Wing), in which the weather was perfect for crops (1931 I think it was, without checking). Well, the 2015 growing season will go down as just such a year here. The rains were very timely all summer, and dried up in September just in time for an extended harvest in near optimal conditions. Thank goodness for that!
Ironically, this was the year in which we finally deployed all the (very expensive) hedges- from irrigation pipe rental to 15 miles of plastic mulch- that we’ve learned in recent years are necessary to survive big swings in weather in an era of destabilized climate. So Mother Nature will once again get the last laugh; even though she dealt us as good a hand as we could hope for these past 6 months, we’ve spent so much time, energy and money preparing for the worst (again), that I’m not sure how much we will profit by the fine weather after all. Certainly we are all enjoying the November broccoli and spinach, as we will the December kale, so there is a small but positive upside indeed!
So it is my hope- and the hope of all of us at Featherstone Farm- that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you all enjoy a feast with friends and family. Thank you once again for inviting Featherstone Farm to your table!