Thanksgiving for the Harvest

I love the timing of Thanksgiving.  In the course of our year as farmers, we begin in the winter with planning the coming season, purchasing seeds and supplies, and repairing building and equipment infrastructure.  The first seeds go in the ground in May.  And then we’re off to the races. 

June: Plant, weed, plant, weed.
July: Plant, weed, harvest.
August: Plant, weed, harvest.
September: Harvest, weed, harvest.
October-November: Harvest, harvest, harvest, harvest, harvest, harvest…………

Do you get the picture?  That’s what this blog is for, wink, wink!

Here’s where the Thanksgiving part comes in.  Every year we work against the inevitable deadline of cold and snow in our central Maine zone four climate.  This year was less stressful than last year as we were done harvesting by the second week of November and we never had much for cold temps to slow down the harvests (the crew’s hands and noses are thankful!).  Then, we always take time to ready the farm for cold temperatures and snow, by moving tractor implements undercover, cutting back and mulching perennial plants, taking down deer fencing, etc, etc. 

And then magically Thanksgiving arrives.  The season is truly over.  With the harvests safely sold off the farm or stored in our root cellars for later sales, we can breathe a sigh of relief and look back on the season’s harvests.  Here's some highlights of the "harvest season" in September and October this year...

Getting ready for harvesting at Ripley Farm...

Ready, set, go!  Several awesome people helped us get the big harvests done this seaon and to them we are very grateful!  Here's some of the crew standing in a field of carrots waiting to be harvested...  Smiles and enthusiasm abound.

Here are images of the harvest this year...

after 20,000+ pounds of carrots, the last day of carrot harvest is a gooooooood day!

Digging the last bed of 50 beds of carrots for 2016... "Yeah" says Farmer Gene!

"Yeah" says the coooooold crew!

Below is us on the very last day of work for the crew at the end of October!  Go team Ripley Farm and thank you to ALL of the people who helped us make this season a success: Carmen, Sara, Sam, Brooke, Rebecca, Seth, Sam, Lydia, Becca, Claire, Sydney, Allie, Noa, J, Megan, and Trisha!!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you for your hard work!  You are the best!

As the sun sets on the 2016 growing season, it is clear to us that this year in particular we have a lot to be thankful for at the farm.  We have a warm home, a healthy family, an abundant, yet challenging eighth year of farming, and LOTS of wonderful supportive customers who have sustained us as we have transitioned to farming with a family.  Thank you to everyone who is a friend of Ripley Farm!  You are on our minds this holiday season! :)