Farm Life Organic Vegetables and Berries

The Why of Rye

From the long list of tasks performed over the past week,
I would like to highlight the mowing of two fields of rye.
Rye is my go-to last-recourse cover crop, i.e. what I use when nothing else can/will do. The toughest of the tough, rye keeps on growing when all other green manures stop. That’s why I sow it late in the season, when an empty field needs sowing, to ensure either a protective cover crop before winter hits or an early spring cover when all other flora is still in winter dormancy.

By mid-June, however, rye is nearly six feet tall, magnificent in its ram-rod straightness, its full ears ready to burst.
The challenge is to decide when to lay it low so it can break down properly. Mowed too soon, it grows back; mowed too late, it becomes so ligneous that it is a tremendous struggle to turn it under. Indeed, as with most things, timing is everything…

This week’s basket is pretty evenly split between leafy greens and early root or fruit vegetables.
We’re aiming to start harvesting our strawberries in the hopes of being able to offer some to all of you this week. I’ve sampled a few: they are fragrant, but not as sweet as I had hoped. I don’t want to blame Mother Nature, but… a cool, wet month of May certainly didn’t help. Be that as it may, strawberries, even slightly acidulous ones, are always a pleasure to eat.

We look forward to seeing you all again at your respective drop-off locations.