Spring in the Berkshires – Kinderhook Creek Farm
April 2015The cold weather was leaving Kinderhook Creek farm more slowly than the other farms I have visited so far this spring – but there was still plenty of action to be found there. The combination of a deeply cold winter, a slow spring thaw, and elevation (875 feet above sea level) put Kinderhook Creek Farm on a slightly different timeline compared to farms in valleys and flats. Warm weather usually catches up across the growing season, so rarely is there any change in harvest time that can be felt by those of us waiting eagerly for their crops. Corn varieties were chosen some time ago, and the seed is in farm storage waiting for the earth to warm up just a little more. The cold weather actually has some soil benefits – it helps to keep some pests controlled.
Sweet, delicious and popular bicolor corn is the primary crop of this farm, though they also plant field corn, hay, and a market garden, raise Angus cattle, and grow yellow corn for specific markets. As they wait for the ground to warm, equipment is being readied after being maintained, repaired or updated this past winter. The corn planter was out in the yard – farmer Larry Eckhardt was showing me the seed closer in the picture I have here – the wheel pushes dirt onto the seed after the machine plants it, the equivalent of tapping it with a hoe.