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Thursday, October 6, 2016

October 4th and 7th

Autumn Harvest

We built the barn with this hoist in mind, but are now just (9 years later!) getting around to rigging it up.  The upstairs of the barn is used for storage most of the year, but when fall arrives, it's a great spot for curing our onions.  After harvest, the onions need time in a dry airy place for their skins to dry so they will last in storage all the way to May.  

We used to walk up the back stairs to the loft, one crate at a time.  It was a long and tiring task.  Now we are using a pulley to hoist 2 crates up at a time.  Much faster and much easier on the body. Although Jean did all the hoisting and she never complains so maybe she was not telling me the truth.

I stood at the top and pulled the crates into the barn and then stacked them in their respective places according to variety.  My job felt pretty long as I didn't fall out of the barn. (which is why I had Jean hoist and me pull....not because I was being lazy!)

There was certainly some behind the scenes help with getting this system going.  My Dad did all the leg work for the materials and attached the rail to the beam.  We then borrowed an old Verizon truck from a friend and Zach hoisted the new beam into the barn.  (We had the replace the beam we originally put in 9 years ago as it was rotten.)  We are still perfecting our little system, but already it made the task much less daunting.   

Carrot harvest has begun!  With a little help from our friends.  

Fall's harvest is always heavy.  Even on this small farm, we work in tons at a time.  One summer pick up week averages 1500 lbs.  We have already pulled in over 6000 lbs of storage taters, sweet potatoes, onions and winter squash.  This truck load of carrots, which will be sold to the good Shepard Food Bank, is almost 1000 lbs and we have at least 2500 lbs more to go.  There's still cabbage, beets, parsnips and turnips to haul in.  It's pretty amazing to realize how much food is produced out of tiny seeds and this small space.  And although we do have a few male work shares, it's mostly done by women : )

The cows dining on the leftover corn stalks.  I've tasted them, they are sweet like sugar cane, no wonder why they like them ; )

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, Famosa Savoy cabbage, cauliflower/romanesco, potatoes, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, hakurei turnip with greens, edemame, spinach and parsley

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