Another Fall has landed on the farm and we are busy getting in the last of the harvests, and putting the fields to bed for winter. Our final herbaceous tops are being harvested and we have begun digging roots to be washed and dried. As we cut the end of this season’s herbs and dig the roots from the soil one of our main focuses is on planting cover crops in our fallow fields as part of our regenerative farming practices.
Our soil has worked hard all season and Fall is the time prepare it for the Winter’s rest and rejuvenation. By planting a cover of oat and clover we protect our soil from the harsh elements of winter, covering it beneath a blanket of oats. This cover also provides critical weed suppression and provides a home for beneficial insects and animals as well as forage for wildlife on the farm. The roots dig deep into the soil profile, bringing nutrients back to where our crops can get to them next year. Clover provides us with nitrogen that it takes from the air and fixes within their roots that is released for the herbs we will grow after turning it over in the spring. Clover flowers early, bringing a flush of beautiful crimson to our fields and also a much needed and appreciated early nectar source of our honey bees and diverse population of native pollinators.
It’s seasonal changes like this that allow us to slow down and remember our part in this amazing dance of life, and as the harvest comes in we take time to appreciate the work we do and the beauty that comes with it.