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September In the Fields at Quail Hill Farm | A Note from Layton

Quail Hill Farm
September 6, 2019

By Layton Guenther

Another Tumbleweed Tuesday has come and gone, but the fields at Quail Hill are still humming along.

This week, your farmers are hustling to ready the crops for Saturday’s harvest day: spicy salad mix, Hakurei turnips, baby beet greens, Buran peppers, Delicata squash, Acorn squash, garlic and wheatberries will be there for the taking.

Due to the late summer rains in the past week or so, crops in the field continue to ripen up nicely. While the coming Tropical Storm looks to be serving up some serious winds on Friday night, we also look forward to more rain: the fall brassicas like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts and collard greens will soak it up, continuing to thrive with this cooler weather. Many of our recently seeded field crops like radish, tat soi, ruby streaks mustard, dill & cilantro, etc, are also looking great after a recent round of cultivation.

Out in the fields, you’ll notice a broad-leafed succulent cover crop popping up in some of our fields put to rest for the summer: BUCKWHEAT! This short-season cover crop provides a good amount of coverage for us, protecting topsoil from erosion and adding organic matter to the soil. In full flower, this crop serves another honorable purpose: feeding thousands and thousands of pollinators, such as honey bees, with its pollen. This time of year, we’re rounding out our main-season crops and putting fields to rest: buckwheat now, and soon the winter cover crops like Austrian winter pea, Leonard oats, Ryegrass and vetch will form a corduroy carpet of fertility around Birch Hill.

As summer gives way towards fall, we will also be losing two of our key seasonal workers at the farm: Em Watson and Alicia Mountain. Both Em and Mountain have worked alongside our apprentices since May, and in so doing enriched our community farm with their diligence, fastidiousness and good humor. Thank you both!

And lastly, we also have been cleaning up around the Herb Crescent in the Valley and the Apple Orchard to ready the farm for our annual At Common Table Dinner! We’ve had a great response and are sold out!

If you would like to be on the waiting list for cocktails and/or cocktails and dinner email Yvette at YDeBow@PeconicLandTrust.org or call her cell at 646.284.8028. 

Thank you! See you in the fields,

Layton