Some of you have asked if we take a break after the busy Saturday Decorah Farmer’s Market. The answer is… sort of! To be honest, after the market, we usually go home and take a nice long nap then return to do some light projects like weeding at the farm (often with a good podcast and a cool beverage in hand).
Sundays are probably our favorite. We do our field walk, where we talk about what we’d like to accomplish for the week ahead and what we have available for market. We also end up taking a lot of photos of the plant growth that we see all around us. These are great for sharing with all of you and they also provide a visual record of what we’ve been doing, learning, and accomplishing.
Soil health–What’s a cover crop anyway?
In these last few days before we begin planting fall crops (cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, beets, etc.) we have taken a pause to focus on soil health.
Over Barb’s many years of amazing land stewardship at Canoe Creek Produce, she has built some really beautiful soil and we are doing everything we can to keep it that way.
Yesterday, we planted a bunch of buckwheat before today’s rain. Buckwheat is a common summer cover crop intended to add biomass to the soil while blocking out weeds. Cover crops replace some of the nutrients in the soil that are lost as we harvest vegetables from the field.
We also add a great deal of organic matter all throughout the season. This year, we’re laying on a semi truck load of compost!
As first year farm business owners, we are humbled by the responsibility of land stewardship. There is still so much even soil scientists are just beginning to understand about the complex network of activity going on beneath our feet. We are excited to continue learning about it for the rest of our lives!
Something that constantly amazes us is how quickly plants grow. Some people might think that really sounds boring, I know. Corn is in the grass family so technically, I am talking about watching grass grow.
As some of you know, we spent last year farming in Washington State on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound. The area was totally abundant in its own way–a much longer, milder growing season that allowed us to start earlier in the spring and grow longer into the fall and even winter. However, we struggled to grow some of our favorite crops like tomatoes, peppers, etc. outdoors in the cooler climate.
A week ago, we posted a picture of our sweet corn on social media.
We are proud to announce we are now knee-high by the Fourth of July!
Despite both of us being born and raised in Iowa, we will admit that this is our first time EVER growing corn. This year we are growing a small amount, mostly to add some summer variety to our CSA. If all goes well, we hope to have much more for the market next year!