Alrighty folks, week 15 of the CSA is here! We have 7 weeks of the CSA season left. I was getting a little worried about how the weather seemed to be turning so quickly but we got a nice reprise of Summer-like days, especially over the weekend, and this week looks like a perfect one.
I was able to take advantage and start planting cover crops in some areas that are done for the season. Cover crops play an important role on our farm in the fall/winter. Cover crops suppress winter weeds, provide erosion control, add organic matter and return nutrients to the soil. These are all important things since we don’t use any synthetic fertilizers or herbicides on our farm. It was pretty good timing when I got them in on Wednesday because we had a nice little rain on Thursday. When we were out in the field today, I noticed that they had germinated over the weekend. Hopefully, there will be a few more weeks of nice weather to help them establish themselves. I’ll keep you posted.
In addition to our weekly routine of harvesting for the CSA, farm stand and restaurants, we continued planting for the winter months. This past week we planted spinach that will eventually be covered by one of our movable hoophouses.
The farm also participated in a great event held at Caroline Elementary School over the weekend. For the past few years, the Caroline PTA has hosted a Farm to Table Market. We’ve been there since year 1 and it has been awesome to see the event grow over the years. I had a lot of great conversations with folks about the TC3 Farm, the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems degree and the Farm to Bistro initiative at Tompkins Cortland Community College. Plus, I sold lots of veggies which makes me very happy!
Even though we are midway through September, the CSA share this week continues to have that summer feel. Thank you season extension! The beefsteak and cherry tomatoes haven’t even hit their peak in the greenhouse yet but it’s coming. You can expect them for most of remaining weeks of the CSA season. The heirloom tomatoes are slowing down but they are still part of the choice, as are eggplant and sweet bell and frying peppers. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but after seeing how our eggplant have performed in the high tunnel, I probably won’t grow them in the field again. They have just been beautiful. And those peppers! I went out on a limb this season and tried two new varieties of frying peppers. They definitely haven’t disappointed. Other veggies in this week’s choice will be new potatoes, beets, green peppers, carrots, fennel, tomatillos, saladette tomatoes, rainbow chard, lettuce mix and some nice cured garlic.
This week will also see the return of kohlrabi and it is outstanding looking. For those of you who are unfamiliar with kohlrabi, it is very funky looking but super tasty. Kind of a cross between broccoli and cabbage. We love to just peel it, slice it and add it to salads. But it can also be sautéed, roasted or turned into “kohl”-slaw. The greens are edible, too. You can sautee them as you would any other green. There’s also a new item this week. Drum roll please….. it’s going to be spinach! Spinach has been a real challenge for us to grow out in the field. Whether it’s too much weed competition, too hot, too wet, we’ve always had difficulty. We plant it often but it just hasn’t done well. But not this week my friends! There wasn’t a whole lot, so it may be an “either-or” with something else. I’ll have to see once I bag it in the am. There may be a surprise vegetable this week, as well.
For those of you who’ve been a little intimidated by the fennel, I found this great recipe for a roasted beet, carrot and fennel salad.
Have a great week everybody!