It’s time to clean up the bramble patch: in order to maintain healthy and productive blackberries and raspberries we need to prune out the old to make room for the new.
Most brambles are biennial which means they fruit on second-year growth. Blackberries are easy to deal with, just remove the arching canes that fruited this year and trim up and trellis the new growth from this summer which will bear next summer’s fruit. Repeat the same thing next year.
The Mount Washington Farm Service Agency would like to announce that ballots for the 2011 FSA county committee elections will be mailed to eligible voters Nov. 4. The FSA county commnittee allows producers to make important decisions concerning the local administration of federal farm programs. FSA would like to urge all elligible farmers, especially minorities and women, to get inolved in their communities by voting in this year’s election.
As we move closer to cold weather, it is a good time to think about strategies for winter feeding of livestock, since it is a necessary part of nearly all operations. Choosing the right place for winter feeding can improve production and reduce threats to nearby water resources. A poorly chosen site for winter feeding can have negative impacts on soil and water quality.
Leaf raking is an autumn chore that only children enjoy because they get to undo it in one fowl swoop. We rake and pile and they jump. I propose a new approach that just may make us all happy: adults can still rake a little, children can still play and trees will benefit from some mulch and fertilizer.
At the farm raking leaves is passé; we let them stay where they fall (with reason, of course) which is usually beneath their canopy.
As holidays go, Halloween ranks as one of the big events of the year. Over time, Halloween celebrations have changed, with a definite shift away from costumed kids walking through neighbors after dark with little to no supervision to the current emphasis on organized fall festivals and trick-or-treating during designated hours in business, community or downtown centers. This change also lessens the emphasis on overeating, since organized activities and sports, such as archery, are now part of some community festivities.
It looks like this late turnip crop is going to be an exceptional one. I will likely have some ready to harvest in honor of Halloween this year, too, which is quite apropos. What does the turnip have to do with Halloween you may ask? Well, they just may be more authentic than that pumpkin on the porch.