Today is the fall equinox the sun is hanging much lower in the sky, there is a crispness to the morning air, and the daylight turns to twilight much sooner than before. It seems too early for all these autumnal feelings as the summer weather continues and so does the tomato harvest. Many of the tomatoes from the first planting have stopped producing or are producing very small fruits. But most of the tomatoes from the 2nd planting are still chugging along with bushes filled with green fruit that are steadily ripening. The 3rd (and last) planting of tomatoes has been growing well and until a week or so ago the fruit had just remained green. But the recent hot dry temperatures has pushed this planting to start ripening and I have been getting a nice harvest each day even with the caterpillars eating their share.
As a farmer I love summer weather but my thoughts are wandering to the next season. I’m making plans to plant cover crop and garlic, thinking through the field clean up, figuring out where to store my irrigation supplies, etc. I have already mowed down the weed ridden pumpkin patch and removed some of the drip tape. The greenhouse is empty of plants and is now storing straw that will be used to mulch the garlic which I aim to plant at the end of October.
This time of year the sun’s arc shifts south across the sky, birds and butterflies head south migrating along with the path of our sun. Recently I have spotted a few monarch butterflies bouncing around the field and heard the honks of geese over head. The fall season begins a slow down of work on the farm allowing time for reflection which is a welcomed shift after the busy pace of summer.