“Another year gone, leaving everywhere its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island 
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering

in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries — roots and sealed seeds

and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time’s measure painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing to stay — how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever in these momentary pastures.” – Mary Oliver, Fall Song

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

The Autumnal Equinox is just a few days away… nature is singing her last sweet songs of summer as we welcome Fall.    We love this time of year.  Starting the day with a wooly and a flannel and by mid-morning we’re in t-shirts.   It’s been a nice change of pace.

August and September are the craziest whirlwind months here on the farm.  We keep saying “next week it will start to slow down” and we keep waiting for that to actually happen… ha ha crazy farmers…  It will though!  We began our gigantic winter squash harvest so those precious fruits can be out of the weather and cure in the warmth of the greenhouse.  We are estimating around 12,000-15,000lbs total and hope to get the rest of them over the course of this week (after CSA harvest).  After that our next big harvest will be the sweet tater harvest.   This time last year we actually had all of our sweet potatoes harvested but we pulled a few plants over the weekend and it looks as though they could use another 3+ weeks to put on growth.   The sweet potatoes haven’t been as prolific as they were last year (they loved last years extreme heat) but we’re crossing our fingers for a decent yield this year!  Did you know that sweet potatoes need to be “cured” like winter squash?    The natural sweetness improves after curing but the primary purpose of curing is to heal injuries so that the sweet potatoes remain in good condition for storage/eating during the Fall and winter.  We keep them at 85 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 85 to 90 percent for 7-10 days.


All of these steps/big items on the list require other steps – getting infrastructure set up, hauling, loading, stacking, building tables, etc… it’s never as easy as just the idea of it.  So, we remember, the only way out is through.  And we accomplish by doing.  You just gotta start – sometimes that’s the hardest part.  On Friday, we also found ourselves in the barn to put up another 6 tons of winter hay for the cows.  With the forecasted showers over the weekend it needed to be done.  With only 6 more tons of hay to go our bodies are already excited to have that chore finished!

Farmers could be called “professional material handlers” (the term was mentioned in one of Chris Blanchard’s farmer to farmer podcasts last year) especially this time of the year.  Harvesting the heavy loads of onions, garlic, winter squash, sweet potatoes etc, loading, packing, curing until they are moved again to their final resting place for the winter.  Come October and November, repeat all these steps with roots (carrots, turnips, beets etc) and alliums (garlic and onions), etc.  The heavy lifting begins in June with squash and cukes, continues with tomatoes and melons and doesn’t end until November when the last harvests of winter stores that are coming in to the cooler etc.  Infrastructure is so important on the farm and covered space is like gold.  It’s also important to limit the amount of times you are handling everything so you’re not creating double work for yourself.. think: could this go on a pallet and be moved by the forks on the tractor from field to final storage place.. etc (our new Macro Bins have been amazing for moving around the melons, potaotes and winter squash this year!)  The better we get as farmers the more we’re talking TONS rather than 100’s of lbs.  And nobody understands that more than our backs 😉  Gotta work smarter, not harder.


It does feel good to have the new red barn filling up, the propagation house will be at max capacity with all the winter squash and sweet potato curing in there and soon the cooler will be chock full of goodies too.   Stocking the larder!

Greenhouse/high tunnel Update!   Where there was one now stand two more high tunnels (thanks nrcs grant)! Our best buds @evenpullfarm came over two Saturdays ago to get this project started and boy did we get a lot further along than expected. We sweated a lot, worked hard, laughed a bunch, talked shop, ate some nourishing farm meals and chatted around the table after the sun went down. We feel lucky to have friends like these… who have always felt more like family.  Feeling extra motivated with the big push the previous weekend we continued working on this project again over the weekend.   Brian and I finished up the last few steps on one of the high tunnels and even pulled the plastic over and got it secured (it only got a little stressful when a couple of sketchy wind gusts randomly showed up..).  One high tunnel down – one more to go.  We should have it already to go in about a week’s time.  Just in time to get them both planted with winter veggie goodness!


There are many transitions for us this time of year…  When we normally would do evening chores after closing the CSA pick up we are finding ourselves getting to all the animals chores in the midst of CSA pick up.  It’s getting dark by 7:30/8:00pm so it’s nice to have things wrapped up before hand.  A farmer’s work is never done so it’s nice to establish a routine that works with the sun and our bodies.  We’ve been making supper and having it on the table by 9pm and soon we’ll be eating earlier and maybe catching a few extra zzz’s!  So many things to look forward to this time of year.

CSA Member Farm Day & Pumpkin Pick is coming up in the next few weeks!  Be sure to RSVP via the evite that was sent to your email.

WHF Pastured Pork!  Our Summer Pork Sale ends this Friday!  We have an amazing selection of USDA recipes and cuts that make our pastured heritage pork shine!   Products available by the share and by individual cuts.  Including Uncured & Nitrite-Free** Items & Over 10 different kinds of Fresh & Smoked Sausages!  

Here’s the link to our Online Farmstore: http://workinghandsfarmstore.com/collections/all

WHF Grass Fed Beef Shares!  Our 100% Grass fed, organic USDA certified beef shares will be available SOON.  We will keep all our members posted with the details.


Cheers to you all, enjoy the week and we’ll see you soon!

With kind regards,

your farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts