I've made good progress at whittling down my cool-weather jobs list. With the help of a local farmer, our wildflower field has received a facelift - meaning, it is newly re-seeded. Over time the original planting had petered out, so it was time to begin anew. Included in the flower mix are black-eyed Susan, coreopsis, poppy, and purple coneflower. While opinion varies on when to plant wildflowers, I'm a believer in fall planting rather than springtime. Planting in the fall means a better established crop and also an earlier bloom time next year. Elsewhere, a second area has been planted in winter cover crops. Mother Nature has been cooperative and within a few short weeks the field was transformed into a green sea of oats, crimson clover, and turnips. Cover crops, a form of organic farming, are beneficial for several reasons. For one, they enrich the soil and make it more fertile. Cover crops also suppress weeds, and, in our case, serve as food for an array of wildlife. I've noticed a family of deer routinely grazing on the lush greens. The benefit of adding turnips to the mix is that the bulbous root vegetable helps break up clay-packed soils. In the spring, the crop will be mowed down and worked into the field prior to the next planting.
We're wrapping up the 2012 lavender season with Fall Open Farm Day on Sunday, November 4, noon to 4. The year has been abundant, and we are extremely grateful for family, friends, neighbors, and customers. Your support is greatly appreciated! We'll be serving hot tea and pound cake, both flavored with lavender, and our end-of-year clearance table will be stocked. Additionally, anyone who wants to pick some greens can do so! We'd love to see a bagful of fresh-from-the-field turnip greens end up on your dinner table. Hope to see you soon!