Summer is over…

Our summer is ending. That may sound odd, but our “summer break” from growing ends at the beginning of August. Now, all of our careful plans for an abundant season will begin to take shape. We will begin sowing seeds in the greenhouse, getting ground prepped, and beginning the next growing cycle.

We have been hard at work all summer preparing for the next 10 months of growing and harvesting. We spend our summers tackling big-picture projects to keep the farm humming along. After our break, we are ready to get going again and as always are itching to grow for our community. We are excited to be entering a milestone season – our 10th season growing vegetables and flowers at Little Pond Farm.

Our big project this summer was installing new, larger irrigation pipes across the whole farm. We have been planning this project for years now, and it feels great to get it done. The purpose of the project is to utilize the plentiful surface water from the pond on the farm. This project is in collaboration with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) who has assisted us with the design of this project. The project is of-interest for this government agency as a practice for water conservation. Now, in the wetter times of year we will be able to utilize abundant surface water, relying less on water from the aquifer via wells. The larger pipes will also help us be more energy-efficient, using less power to move more water in less time. We hope to have this system fully operational sometime in the fall/winter. 

In August, we will break ground on a new high tunnel greenhouse. This will be our tenth protected growing structure we’ve built on the farm. We love utilizing this kind of building to increase the diversity and quality of crops we can grow through the colder months.

Our supply of preserved and frozen food from the farm is beginning to dwindle, and we cannot wait to eat the first tender greens and ripe fruits from the farm in just about two months from now. We are beginning to mow down the summer cover crops and incorporate them into the soil. Soon enough, we will be planting again. In just NINE weeks from now, we will be harvesting the first crops of the season for our return to the market. Time to get going!

All the best,
Ellen and Cole

Photo from the end of May, taken above the farm from an airplane by our friend Lucas who is a flight instructor. The fields here are bare, just as the summer cover crops began to sprout. 
New high tunnel will go here.
Our daughter will be a year and a half old next week. Where does the time go? Here she is pictured with our roselle hibiscus crop, which is only 2 months old.
Two calves, a boy and a girl, were born on the farm. We have a tiny herd of personal Florida Cracker Cattle to maintain the pasture and wooded areas of the farm.
Our Eucalyptus hedge is filling in nicely. We have been attempting to establish a permanent eucalyptus patch for 5 years now, and it took us until last summer to have success. We’ve been letting the hedge grow, and only minimally cutting from it over the last year while it establishes. We’re excited to begin harvesting from here (as a cut greenery) this season, and we already have plans to plant more!
Our cover crop this summer was sorghum sudangrass. This grass grows tall like corn (6 feet tall in less than 2 months), and produces tons of organic matter that we incorporate into the soil before planting in the fall. One benefit of cover-cropping is soil-building which is an important objective in organic farming for growing healthy crops.

Leave a Reply