Fall is always a busy time of year at the farm. Between our daily animal chores, greenhouse prep for the winter, keeping up the farm stand, harvests, washing vegetables, attending farmers markets and weekly deliveries, I don’t know how we found time to clear out our fields. This time of year we are attempting to pretend that we don’t notice the days getting shorter as we fill the daylight hours (and some moon light ones) getting all of vegetables out of the ground before the landscape becomes frosted and snow covered.
With each passing year Jericho Settlers has grown bit by bit to meet the demand for locally produced food year round. With this growth also came an outgrowing of our cooler storage, and fast. This fall brought not only the yearly mad dash to the first hard frost, but also a mad dash to finish our new building projects here at JSF. Thanks to our great friends over at Whitcomb Construction we have a beautiful new barn that houses not one but TWO new coolers, and enough space to accommodate all the washing and packing of our vegetables with dunk tanks, spray tables and our lovely new barrel washer that gives those carrots their sparkling appearance.
When the barn was going up last summer it was hard to believe that we needed all that space, but here we are mid-November and we are at capacity. Our crew has harvested roughly 75,000 lbs of roots this fall, we’re talking about 150 bulk bins each weighing around 500 lbs. That doesn’t even include all the cabbage that was harvested. (We have a separate cooler for cabbage, just cabbage). One new cooler is stacked from floor to ceiling full of root vegetables waiting to be washed, and the other is almost stacked floor to ceiling with shinny washed and bagged roots that go out every week by the hundreds of lbs.
It has been a heck of a season, and a whirlwind fall this year at JSF. I think I can speak on everyone's behalf when I say that we are ready for a little snow and a slower pace, at least for a couple months.