Those Leaves, they are a changing! I truly love living in the Northeast and getting the chance to experience all the seasons. Working outside just about every day of the year gives you a great appreciation for all of Nature’s beauty and fall is always my favorite. Watching this hillsides change from afar is an amazing sight.
The farm is still busy with lots of activity. The harvest keeps coming in and preparing for the winter months and next season continues. Last week we began renovating the strawberries.
That entails removing all the “runners” or side shoots off the plants and just leaving the “mothers”, which are the main plants where we get the fruit from. Before the plants go into a dormant state for the winter, we’ll mow them down and fertilize them. Something that we experimented last year was to save some of the runners and put them in pots and keep them in the greenhouse for the winter. Come springtime we replanted them out in gaps in our beds. This year we are going to save a lot more to hopefully plant a whole new bed and have some plants for sale. We also planted one of our hoophouse areas with winter greens to have available for our farm stand and restaurants. In the coming weeks, we’ll plant the other hoophouse and greenhouse so we can produce food year round.
With the changing fall colors also comes a big change in the weather. We had our first light frost on the farm last night and tonight is supposed to be even colder. That means that the summer squash is finally done. Although, we had a great run this season. It also means that there was mass crop clear out and covering of the lettuce and chard. Over the last 2 days all of the field peppers (except for 3 beds we covered and are crossing our fingers), watermelons and winter squash came out of the field and are now being stored in the barn.
Another thing that happens when the nights get close to freezing is that our fall crops begin to sweeten up. The kale, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, collards and carrots begin to taste great! You’ll see the latter 3 in your share in the coming weeks.
Speaking of your CSA share, the fall bounty continues. This week there will be more watermelons, potatoes, beets, kohlrabi, green peppers, red peppers, green onions, broccoli, kale, chard and garlic. The return of eggplant, parsley and fennel. This week’s lettuce will be mini romaine heads and there will be tomatoes. I’m not sure if there will be cherries, I’ll make that assessment in the morning. I’m hopeful that there will be more snow peas but that will be another morning decision. This week there will also be the first of the winter squash. This week’s squash will be an acorn squash that is nice and sweet. One of my favorite ways to have acorn squash is to roast it. Just preheat the oven to 350 and halve and deseed. Bake face down until the squash is softened, probably 30-45 minutes. Then remove the squash and turn face up and add about a tablespoon of butter and a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar. I like to cut into the flesh of the squash to really let that butter and brown sugar seep into the flesh. If I’m feeling crazy, I’ll also had some maple syrup. I put the other half over it and bake for about another 30 minutes.
In the coming weeks, there will be collards, carrots, rutabaga and more winter squash.
Have a great week, folks!