Hay! With everything that's going on in the world it's nice to have a change of season to distract us ...
The leaves on the trees are slowing turning yellow then brown, it's dark in the morning when we get up and it's a bit cooler at night, yay! BUT ... it's still so hot during the day, and it's really dry in our part of the country. Any rain has passed us by, our tanks are very low and the soil very dry. We know the rain will come sometime, so we just have to carry on getting plants in the ground and ready for winter.
It’s the time of the season when we’re ripping out spent crops and getting new crops established in the no-dig garden beds. Pak choi, Chinese brocolli, Kale, Silverbeet, Mustards and Cabbages we seed into trays, and once they’re big enough plant the seedlings into their beds in the no-dig garden. While it's still so dry, we are mulching with pea straw. This helps the soil stay moist, and also gives the tiny seedlings shade and wind protection as they emerge. Straight into the ground go beetroot and snap pea seeds. They get watered twice a day so they stay moist until they germinate. Beetroot beds are mulched with shade cloth until they emerge. If the beetroot seeds dry out they won't germinate.
Most years we get our flat riverside paddocks cut and baled into hay. It makes us feel good. The hay goes to farmers who need it, we get nice tidy paddocks and some tractor work done for us in return. We love the sweet smell of the hay, our boys love fooling around on the bales and the dog loves running on the once-a-year short grass. Everyone loves hay time!
On Saturdays we head off to Matakana Village Farmers Market and Catalina Bay Farmers Market. As the seasons change, our market stalls change too. Soon our stalls will be full of winter leafy greens, pakchoi and watercress. Our year-round crops of lettuces and coriander carry on... business as usual!
What’s coming up for harvest at Salty River Farm?
In full harvest mode: Cos lettuce, Baby leaf lettuce, Oakleaf lettuce, Buttercup squash, Coriander, Sage, Dill
Finishing soon: Thai Basil, Little tomatoes, Zucchini/Scallopini
Later in Autumn: Pakchoi, Kale, Mini cabbages, Chinese broccoli, Coloured Silverbeet, Babyleaf coloured silverbeet, Baby beetroot, Snap peas, Mustards, Watercress, Parsley