Timing | A Note From Layton Guenther

October 25, 2018

By Layton Guenther

Quail Hill Farm

October is All About Timing...

By the first week’s end, you should have most of your oats and peas sowed for winter cover crops. Second week, clip and sort all of the winter squash you hope to store until March (if you do it right). Third, plow and prepare the ground for 30,000 garlic cloves you hope to plant. In the fourth week of October, if you haven’t yet, make sure to remember seeding 1-2 acres of winter wheat (they really shine in the early spring months, before harvest in early July).

Between October 1 and Halloween, we lose about an hour and twenty minutes of daylight, and for the farmer, every minute counts. Every day, we try to take advantage of windows of fair weather by bringing in food for you, our members, to enjoy for the next few harvest days. Today, under the darkening sky, Tori, Ivana, Miriam and our beloved volunteer/farm member Kevin Coffey harvested 700 lbs of Beauregard sweet potatoes. Across the farm, I scurried through the rain to bring in about 5,000 lbs of winter squash to store through the winter. Over on Birch Hill, Sarah harvested Bicolor Sorghum (also known as Broomcorn) to hang and dry for wreaths and other dried arrangements.


As we wrap up our 29th year of community farming on this land, we’d like to remind you that after our final harvest day of the Summer Share on Saturday, November 3rd, you’re invited to return to the fields and glean what remains from Birch Hill and the Valley as you wish, so long as you close the gates behind you when you leave. After the conclusion of our Summer Share, it’s only two short weeks before our Winter Share begins: Fridays and Saturdays beginning Friday November 16, running until the middle of March.

As many of you know, Scott is away on Sabbatical for the rest of 2018. For the past six seasons, he and I have worked closely not only to bring you the most diverse food crops that this land and climate has to offer, but also to hone our commitment to community farming for YOU, our farm members, who make this whole operation tick. As the season wraps up, I’d like to invite you all to consider what the farm means to you: have you shared a memorable meal with friends using produce that you picked together? Watched a family member pick a certain vegetable for the first time? Adorned your houses with flowers from the farm? Shared preserves with loved ones? Been alone in a backfield, only to hear birdsong and pollinators busy themselves by your side? The land, its farmers and its farmshare members are in close symbiosis, an ecology all its own. Thanks for being a part of it all.

Happy autumn, see you in the fields…


Ready to Harvest: Parsley, kale, collards, potatoes, hot peppers, basil, cabbage, dill/cilantro, watermelon radish, daikon, shishitos, cherry tomatoes, tat soi, bok choi, kohlrabi..

At The Stand: sweet potatoes, broccoli, Napa cabbage.

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