“Why is the shovel regarded as a symbol of drudgery? Perhaps because most shovels are dull. Certainly all drudges have dull shovels, but I am uncertain which of these two facts is cause and which effect. I only know that a good file, vigorously wielded, makes my shovel sing as it slices the mellow loam.”
-Aldo Leopold, from “A Sand County Almanac”
As always we follow the whims of the season. November brought hard frosts, and we raced old man winter to bring in our storage crops. Last Wednesday we harvested the rest of the beet crop at Wheaton in the rain and sleet. We’ve harvested all but one bed of our storage carrots, making quick work of it with the under cutter implement on the tractor. Now that our storage crops are nearly all safely tucked in for the months ahead we can breathe a sigh of relief. Yet the harvest continues. Our fields are still flush with winter hardy kales, the most burly of leeks for winter harvest, and baby greens. We are able to extend the harvest for the kale and some greens by diligently applying a row cover on the coldest of nights. The row cover is like a big blanket. We cover up the greens and tack down the sides with generous spoonfuls of soil. We remove the covers frequently for harvest and to prevent excessive humidity. The on and off of the cover is a big task and the greedy wind often attempts to wrestle the cover from us- but we are not fazed. We have sharp shovels and great recipes for kale.