Wintertime is upon us here at Halter Ranch! As the days have grown shorter and colder, we take this time to reflect, recuperate, and reinvigorate. Over the past few weeks, our mornings out here have been frosty and wet. The fruit trees have almost entirely lost their leaves, the last remaining summer crops that were not frost hardy have died off, and the winter rainstorms have begun. Winter is not my favorite time of the year, but it allows for next year’s crop/season plan to start taking shape. Stick around for an update on how our cover crop is doing, what winter crops we have in the field right now, what kind of seeds we are picking out for next season, where to get your seeds, and pruning our fruit trees.
If you read the last blog, you know that I spread cover crop seed over most of Le Jardin du Chef this winter. Planting a cover crop has many benefits for the soil, microorganisms, and pollinators. I first spread organic approved gypsum, sulfur, and compost in the field and tilled it in. After that, I broadcasted a cover crop mix of peas and oats into each block of the field. Once the seeds were spread, I used a rake to incorporate them into the soil. I timed this before it rained so I would not need to irrigate the cover crop seeds. a week of wet weather, our pea seeds began to sprout.