Fall has finally hit here in Ohio, with the occasional frost warning buffered by unseasonably warm days. The high temperatures are back up to 78 this week!! With an unusually warm summer and fall, including a late "first frost", we have enjoyed an extended fall season. We have been busy transitioning our beds, and creating seasonal low tunnels to provide some winter weather protection for some of our outdoor crops.
In order to prepare our beds for winter, summer crops are removed, irrigation is packed away, beds are cleaned and raked, and some areas with persistent weeds are covered with tarps until spring. Other beds are sown with a cover crop that will help to restore nutrients in the soil and suppress weeds. In our high tunnels, we have a lovely new crop of cool weather greens, including spinach, lettuce, kale and chard. These greens will produce all winter long despite the cold temperatures and reduced daylight hours.
Last week, we constructed our outdoor, seasonal low tunnels to cover our herbs just in time for our first frost last Monday night. We used a new system for our low tunnel construction this year and we could not be more happy with it! PVC hoops have been placed over fiberglass fence posts, and secured with adjustable bailing twine attached to anchors on each hoop. We can easily open each tunnel up for access to sunlight, water or harvesting by simply walking down each side and pushing the fabric to the middle and tightening the ropes. It's just as easy to close it all up to protect from frost; walk down each side and gently pull the fabric to the ground, and adjust ropes as needed to maintain tension across the fabric.
After years of struggling with many different methods of attaching and weighting the blankets down to secure them, we are so happy to have found such an incredibly secure and efficient way to secure frost blankets and row cover. We can't imagine ever doing it any other way again. Special thanks to David Reed for helping us find this awesome method, and to the Market Gardening Success group, on Facebook, for sharing such useful information with us.
- baby kale blend
- mixed greens lettuce
- pea shoots
- rainbow chard
Happy Halloween from all of us here at Brickel Creek Organic Farm
Thank you David Reed for carving this delightfully spooky pumpkin for the farm. Here's hoping for bumper pumpkin crop in 2017!
"Trick or treat, give me something green to eat"
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