We just spent September and October on a number of farm tasks. First order of business is to get the fields we picked this season mowed. We used to use a sickle bar mower (similar to an older hay mower) and then we would burn the fields in the spring. For several years we have been using a frail mower to cut the bushes. Essentially it cuts the bushes into tiny pieces right to the ground level. There is some concern that not burning will promote more disease and one will have less control over unwanted weeds and grasses. We have not seen that to be the case and not having to burn in the spring has made our lives easier.
For several years we have been removing rocks from the fields. This makes frail mowing much easier and allows us to pick the berries using walk behind mechanical mowers. We hardly ever use hand rakes any more. As part of this process we fill the holes with dirt or sand. It is an ongoing process. We usually spend some time in the fall removing surface rocks, a seemingly endless process but we are gradually getting there.
We also spend time cutting back the trees, limbs and bushes around the edge of the fields. It is amazing how quickly nature wants to retake the fields.
We have two events remaining this fall.
Harvest Fest at the Cross Center in Bangor – Nov. 23-24
John Bapst Craft Fair in Bangor – Dec. 7
We also have an open house at the farm in December along with our new web site.