Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall Dance: Harvest, Till, Plant

It's autumn. Whenever the weather cooperates, we harvest a crop. We've got some of the pinto beans off, and just baled up a small alfalfa hay field that was due to be planted to something else. Typically, we wouldn't harvest alfalfa hay this late in the year--it needs a little growth to overwinter well. But since it was going to be tilled up anyway, we grabbed a small window of good weather and hayed it.

As soon as it was off, it was time to disc it up.

Don't those look like fall clouds? There's just something different about the autumn sky.

This field will be planted with a cover crop of wheat. A cover crop helps to keep the weeds at bay (a bit) and provides nitrogen to the soil in the spring when it's tilled in. It seems like an unnecessary expense, until you realize we are no longer buying herbicides or synthetic fertilizers.

This fall dance is quite something to keep track of--harvest, till, let lay a few days, till again, plant and pack the seed down. Repeat.

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