No frost down on the river yet, but can it be very far away? Our last planting of corn actually ripened up a lot the last four days with the murky damp tropical depression. The tomatoes have held up well to this point but I suspect that the warm damp nights have unleashed a Pandora’s box of disease and they will start to go down quickly. Nonetheless, the stand looks nice with colorful ripe peppers and tomatoes, corn, different colored potatoes, flowers and fall apples, squash and pumpkins. As Yogi said: ” It ain’t over ’til it’s over” so we muddle on, with no frost yet and the stand closing dates set at Columbus Day weekend.
The field crew has been busy with wholesale: potatoes, tomatoes, peppers to the Co-ops, sweet corn to a few farm stands and pumpkins, raspberries (when weather permits) and mums to area stores and farm stands. I have been getting some of the fields cleaned up and seeded down to various winter cover crops. The irrigation pipe is all picked up and out of the fields. Soon I will be putting up deer fence around the small fruit crops so they don’t chew the leaves and branches. All with an eye towards winter, but we are not worried. There is lots of nice fall weather to be enjoyed yet…
Seems to me that the biggest event of the past week was the gathering up and harvest of the pumpkin and squash crops. It is great fun for the first few days….lots of thrashing around the field with the crew filling 15- and 22-bushel bins, and the coming and going of tractors and trucks in the field and back and forth to the farm. Again, this project has to be accomplished in between the daily harvest of vegetables for the accounts and farm stand. Days still are long, 12 hours at least….but the problem is that the diminishing daylight in the evening and lack of sunlight early in the AM have made everyone realize that frost could be right around the corner. Still, it’s great that we can look back at the day’s end and actually see what has been accomplished.
This week we will definitely finish up digging potatoes. I have been seeding down winter cover crops as land becomes available, although there is still much weeding and cultivating of small fruit and fall vegetable crops like turnips, cabbage and broccoli, lettuce and greens, which I am not sure we are going to be able to get to. Meanwhile, the harvest of fall raspberries is in full swing (great time to u-pick if you want-call the stand @ 298-5764) as well as we are picking tomatoes, green beans and corn as well as the greens. People this year seem to be processing for the winter more than we have seen in recent years.
For the box CSA membership, we want to alert you that in your final three deliveries you will see potatoes,winter squash, some cabbage and the root vegetables-turnips, celeriac, carrots, beets, and rutabagas. These are all vegetables that can be used immediately if you so choose, but if stored in a cool dry place they should last until after Thanksgiving. Khally will enclose directions for use and for storage in your boxes when you get them.
This will be the last call for this coming Saturday’s CSA Membership Farm Day from 4 pm to approximately 7 pm. There will be a short meeting and introduction of the field employees followed by a quick wagon tour of the farm, followed by snacks and beverages at the packing shed. Although originally designed for the debit card CSA members and the Eastman box CSA members, we welcome family members and any prospective members who may be interested in joining. It should be a fun and informative time.
These days at the farm there is a tinge in the morning air that gets your attention. Fall is definitely working its way here, and there is much yet to do. We will start digging potatoes later this week, and we will cut and windrow the pumpkins. The hard winter squash vines still look pretty green and healthy indicating that they are not ready to be cut. Field tomatoes are pouring in and we are busy trying to fill orders for canning tomatoes, cukes for pickling and freezer corn. Fall raspberries are coming in, and this sunny weather is really sweetening them up. As the crops get harvested we quickly chop the plants and weeds back into the soil and plant cover crops, some already up and doing well. But it has turned so dry that we will be irrigating again this week, trying to encourage the last vegetable plantings to keep plodding along and the cover crops to germinate. If you are up this way you should stop by the stand as it is as colorful as the greenhouses are in May.
We look to see you Saturday afternoon.