This summer has all but passed us by. Busy hands make time fly, and that pretty much sums up what has happened here on Old Loon Farm. We’ve been through planting, harvest, preserving and back to planting again. It’s almost Labor Day. Fall is right around the corner.
Travel plans prompted our decision not to participate in the farmers market, CSA, or on-farm sales this year, and instead concentrate on wholesaling our excess produce and preserving as much of our harvest as possible. A trip to Hawaii in April kept us from starting most of our own plants from seed this year; others crops we direct seeded later in the Spring. And a two-week trip to the East Coast during early July meant that we missed some harvest and returned home to find weeds taking over our gardens and fields. August brought family visitors to the farm for several weeks. (Our grandkids all grew an inch during that time enjoying the delicious, fresh farm food!) All part of this year’s growing season, and we wouldn’t trade this summer for the world!
As Fall approaches, we are busy canning tomatoes, pickles, peaches, and grape juice and making jam. We’re cultivating our asparagus beds, and harvesting blackberries and everbearing strawberries. Apples and pears (ugly because we don’t spray with pesticides) are in the cooler waiting to be made into cider. We’ve planted spinach, romaine, mesclun, carrots, radish, beets, arugula and butter lettuce for our Fall garden.
We’re also watching our sweet sorghum form seed heads and move toward maturity. It looks good at this point, and we’re planning harvest by end of September. A group of student interns from Merry Lea helped us thin and measure our crop last month, as we track growth and success of this new crop. October 12 is the Family Festival and sorghum processing demonstration at the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College in Wolf Lake.
Our hayfield has been cut and baled twice this summer, but now is quite soggy, like most fields in our area. Three sandhill cranes were spotted fishing in its shallows yesterday, and Canada geese stopped by this week as well. Recent rainfalls rivaled the spring in amount and intensity; our lakes are at high-water mark and we’re mowing yards weekly. It’s lush and green here in northern Indiana!
Have a wonderful Labor Day holiday!