Welcome to week 16 of 20 of summer shares! We’ve passed the fall equinox and it really feels like it now. On the farm that means moving into distinctly fall activities and beginning to reflect on the season that has passed, from a gardening perspective. This past week, we got some big tasks completed that are super important at this time of year. Garlic was planted, potatoes were harvested, late fall cover crop planting was completed and we moved our squash, which had been curing in one of the greenhouses, into its winter storage room.
September’s weather has been somewhat challenging for crops as we had a serious drop in temperature early on and several very hard frosts that impacted the garden, slowing down maturing greens crops and killing off the last of our outdoor peppers, tomatoes, basil and beans. While we were sad to see the hot crops go, we’re happy that the weather warmed up a bit so that we can see our late fall crops continue to mature for some hopefully lovely late harvests.
This week we say goodbye to tomatoes. Because we do not add additional heat to our tomato hoophouse (or any of our hoophouses except our propogation house), the tomatoes are coming to the end of their life cycle. We also need their space to be free now for planting winter crops of greens. So after one last harvest today, we’ll be pulling down the vines and thanking them for their abundant yields, then adding compost to the beds they were in and putting in lettuces and arugula, kale, bok choy and rapini.
At this point in the season we do a deep dive into garden review and will sit down with all the farmers here to discuss and assess each crop we grew this year. We grow so many different crops and work with different conditions each year so we do a complete review of what we did, how it worked, what we might change. We take notes for next year in the hopes of improving things in the garden and composing even better shares for you. It’s always really exciting to do this work and be able to take that information and use it to create next year’s crop plan. If you have any important (and reasonable!) feedback, let me know!
There are just 4 more weeks of summer share deliveries before we head into the winter program. We’ll continue to harvest the good fall things that are coming from the field – cabbages, broccoli, greens and sweet root crops. And soon we’ll be hauling the remaining winter storage crops, carrots, beets, celeriac and more. Soup weather here we come!1