As the solstice marked the official beginning of summer, the farm is transitioning to focus mainly on our outdoor crops. This week we’ve been cleaning up the greenhouses (pulling out finished crops, prepping soil, and lots of weeding) to prepare them for the summer cover crop. In summertime, all but one of the greenhouses are seeded with a cover crop to ensure that the soil is healthy and vibrant for the fall. One greenhouse has cherry tomatoes that will continue to fruit until the fall.
Outside, the crew mulched the pathways of our sweet potato field this week. We spread straw on the bare soil between rows of sweet potatoes to smother weeds and to prevent them from germinating, which should save us lots of time hoeing. We have also invested time in thistle patrol: each day a couple people have used weed whackers to kill this nasty weed that goes to seed at this time of year. Additionally, we weeded crops such as carrots, spring mix, and scallions, and we trellised tomatoes in the fields.
The sheep are at the solar fields on Dickinson’s campus for a little while so they can graze on the grass and weeds that grow around the solar panels. This keeps the panels productive and provides fresh food for the sheep, and we like to think that they enjoy their trips to college! The cows are happily grazing in a central spot on the farm, and the veg crew has been enjoying hearing their mooing when a sneaky calf slips under the fence.
This week we were very excited to welcome another team member to the farm! Oliver started Monday as the part-time packing house assistant, and he is working with Jenn Wolf to wash, pack, process, and organize all the produce we harvest.