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A Glance at 2013's Growing Season

Posted 10/23/2013 10:17am by Jacob and Katie Mullane-Bach.

 Friends, another beautiful growing season is winding down. Here's an attempt to share some of its joys in non-linear fashion. Captions will all be below the photos.

Five days after the fire. With benches and tunnel rebuilt, flats that had spent the previous three days in our cooler made into a makeshift germination chamber, are ready for bench life in the prop house.

One month after the fire plants are growing beautifully. Thankfully the fire happened April 2nd instead of May 2nd! In spite of all the time it took to rebuild and replant (A LOT OF TIME INDEED!!!), we didn't end up being behind in the fields with any of the crops : )

Plastic going on the 1/2 acre Haygrove tunnel during a foggy, windless morning.

I couldn't help but add two picture of plastic going up. It was such a magical morning!

Jacob in ACTION putting the Haygrove up.

Intern Leslie making dibble holes into tilled strip of soils, which soon would be home to the field tomatoes. In between each strip of tilled soil is established clover that served as a living mulch and weed control. Jacob mowed the clover down every few weeks, which kept the isle between the tomatoes low and added fertility to the soil.

Tomatoes being planted in the field shown above.

Building soil fertility with green cover crops is an important part of our farm's fertility. We plant over a third of our fields in cover crop each year. Here Leslie is undersowing clover in the rye field with a hand broadcaster.

Fun in the rye field : )

Buckwheat cover crop mines phosphorous from deep down for future fertility of the soil.

I so love that buckwheat flowers birth delicious buckwheat flour ; )

Our favorite cover crop thus far! Neighbors commented how much they loved driving down the road while the sunflowers were in bloom!

Forrest deciding which sunflower he should dig up...so many to choose from!

We had so much fun with the sunflower patch. A joyous mother I am, indeed.

More fun!

Grew our own hay this year too!

Jacob and Forrest combining oats a few days back. We'll use the seeds for cover crop fields next year.

At times this summer, the corn knife was an extension of Forrest's arm!

The first bloomed sunflower of the year...and the corn knife. Even with a broken arm, Forrest didn't stop blazen trails and clearing brush.

A man, his son and a beloved Allis Chalmers G Tractor. The Celery is beginning to size up a little in the background.

A visitor a few days back saw the Farmall M and innocently asked if it worked. Yes! That tractor has been so good to us! The half-built SQuOT seen to the left and behind the M is a new addition the farm this year. It's used for storing winter SQuash, Onions and Tomatoes, which all require dryer storage conditions that potatoes and other root crops.

Preparing the onions for storage are some of the many hands that hands that contributed to this season. BIG THANKS TO Monica, Dad, James, Melissa, Cameron, Nathan, Drake, Kerri, Steve, Dane, Leah, Omar and LESLIE!

And of course, we can't forget our dear friends, the bees, without whom our efforts would yield fruitless.

The results of so much effort from so many hands! This is one of our few pictured shares. Every year we say we're going to take a photo every week, but when we're in the moment, it falls low on the priority list.  Radishes, beets, salad mix, eggplant, swiss chard, garlic, tomato, tropea onions, celery and summer squash are featured in the half share photoed above.

Summer!

Evening picnics with meals haphazardly created. A tomato, roughly ripped apart kale (unwashed!, Yes!), quinoa and feta cheese.

Speaking of quinoa, this year was our first attempt growing the plant which looks almost identical to lamb's quarter. The thicker buds that top the plant define the plant from its weedy relative.

 Quinoa plants in mid-September. Almost time to harvest. The heads are now drying on a bench in the prop house waiting to be winnowed.

Dirty hands and fresh garlic, a necessary combination : )

Cucumber beauty!

Field peppers!

Grape tomatoes in the tunnel!

Peppers in the tunnel!

Leeks!!

Young Italian Kale.

Deer damage to the carrots. Happens every year.

Leslie harvesting celeriac for the last week of shares. Take note of the solar powered, electric fence surrounding the carrot bed to the left of the celery field.

Cabbage heads.

Arugula, salad mix and more!

Field of beautiful color!

Getting ready for the cold!

It's difficult not to marvel at the majestic vistas of Autumn!

Routine field walks are sooo important to growing organically.

Routine runs by energetic children are even more important.

So much magical energy is spread onto the fields, which increases soil fertility in our opinions : )

Finding balance in a field of green. We've come a loong way in the past five years with our ability to find balance in farm and family life.

Our very small and very young orchard of fruit trees.

The last of the sunflowers from Forrest's little garden. One of the many reminders that cooler days lie ahead.

A little spiritual sugar for us to revere in before slumbering the satisfying day of work, learn and love away.