Post harvest, on the farm

November 8th, 2010 by Admin

The 2010 shares have been delivered, but there’s still plenty going on at Cedar Isle Farm…

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Oh, hey there.

Cows are out pasturing…

In the organic system used at Cedar Isle Farm, the grain contains an ’understory’ of clover, grass and other plants, which thrive after the grain is harvested in the late summer.

In late October — at the same time Urban Grain members were picking up their flour — the Angus beef cattle were taking advantage of the ‘extra pasture’ that grew after the hard red spring wheat was harvested.

No additional time, money or energy was expended to plant this greenery. It simply grew after harvest. Not only does it provide extra forage for the cows, it will also provide the field protection against erosion in the face of fierce winds that frequently buffet the eastern Fraser Valley in the winter.

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Equipment needs preventative maintenance… adjustments are made before putting away the harvesting equipment for the winter.

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Simon and Pumpkin take a break from helping to clean and service the combine before winter storage.

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Local mechanics Pete den Boer and Anton Kersten (from Farm Diesel Service in Chilliwack) re-worked the combine's electrical system and made other improvements.

Winter cereals fields are transitioned back to grass and clover…

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Combining the (late) fall rye crop.

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In mid-September, before the other grains have been harvested (and before cleaning, milling and distribution), the fall rye field is plowed. This is the initial step in preparing the field for seeding grass-clover seed — the next step in its rotation. Next year, this field will produce grass-clover silage and hay; it’ll be several years before it is returned to cereal production.

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And one month later, mid October, the newly-sown grass and clover seeds have sprouted and the plants have started to put on some decent growth, which will allow them to survive the winter and be ready for a burst of growth next spring…

What lies below

April 28th, 2010 by Admin

For those of you who like nothing better than to run your hands through the soil, this batch of pictures should be quite enjoyable. Jim sent along the following shots from his field work on April 20th.

A field of freshly seeded soft white spring wheat, a new variety for Urban Grains this year

A field of freshly seeded soft white spring wheat, a new variety for Urban Grains this year.

Rain stopped the plowing on this day, but this photo shows the rich soil Jim was turning at the time

Rain stopped the plowing on this day, but this photo shows the rich soil Jim was turning at the time.

Jim told me he hates the thought of killing worms when he's on the tractor. Here you can see evidence of their important work - tiny holes perforating the soil.

Jim told me he hates the thought of killing worms when he's on the tractor. Here you can see evidence of their important work - tiny holes perforating the soil.

The roots of this cover crop help Cedar Isle's by adding nutrients, holding it in place when the rains come, and providing a habitat for the life that builds it.

The roots of this cover crop help Cedar Isle's soil by adding nutrients, holding it in place when the rains come, and providing habitat for the life that builds it.

A block of sod that's just been turned. Healthy cover crops - grown without chemicals - are a sign of healthy soil below.

A block of sod that's just been turned. Healthy cover crops - grown without chemicals - are a sign of healthy soil below.