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End of Summer Farm Update

Happy Fall! With the turning of the season, I wanted to give an update on how the farm is doing, what everything looks like, what is still growing, and what the next steps are for the farm as we get closer to winter.


A sunny morning on the farm with grass paths and strawflower, zinnias, and dahlias in the background

Even though I farm in a small space, there is always something to do. I head outside everyday with a task list. Sometimes, I make it through the list. Other days, the task is ongoing. The priorities in the past week have been tagging dahlias, finishing the sowing of cover crop, and fall planting.


As summer crops come to an end, I have been transitioning beds to cover crop and fall seedlings. I am using a cover crop mix of field peas and radishes. The peas help fix nitrogen into the soil while the radishes break up compacted soil.


Fall planting, so far, has consisted of planting plugs of rudbeckia, foxglove, and larkspur. Next up will be anemones, ranunculus, tulips, poppies, campanula, and other perennials.


Some of the flower beds are full of seed from spring flowers that I let go to seed. They are interplanted with cover crop. The cover crop will die back in the winter and let the seed sprout this fall/early spring.


Two rows of cover crop: peas and radishes

I am still growing and enjoying zinnias, dahlias, rudbeckia, strawflower, roses, herbs, and perennials. The dahlias are at their peak as the season changes to fall, and take time each week to harvest. They are so prolific that I can easily harvest twice a week.


Zinnias in the foreground with a blue and brown chicken coop in the background

You can see that the zinnias are just starting to get powdery mildew. In years past, my zinnias have had horrible powdery mildew and been mostly useless by this point in the year. Instead of planting zinnias at the beginning of the planting season, I waited until mid-June to plant zinnias by direct seeding. This allowed the zinnias to grow during the hotter and dryer part of our summer season. They are just now succumbing to powdery mildew but are still beautiful.


A white dinnerplate dahlia

As we ease into the fall and bulbs start arriving, I will begin to prepare tulips for growing through hydroponics. I will continue to plant successions of anemones and ranunculus, along with garlic. I will interplant garlic to help alleviate pest pressure. I will finish up weeding the perennial beds, mulch thoroughly, and prepare the dahlia beds for winter. I am planning on keeping most of my dahlias in the ground and mulching well to help them overwinter.


In addition to farm chores, I will teach three different workshops this fall. I am excited to offer my first on-farm workshop all about dahlias. Additionally, I am offering a dried flower wreath workshop and dried flower jewelry workshops.


It has been a great growing year, full of learning and growing as a farm and as a farmer. I am excited for every season that we enter including this fall. Thanks for reading and following along.

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