After that brutal Monday morning last week, we had a pretty good frost Tuesday morning. There was definitely some collateral damage but all in all, the veggies were ok.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier weeks, a couple of frosts actually help to sweeten up some of our fall crops. I’m glad I was able to harvest the last of the field peppers but that third planting of beans definitely were lost and the chard didn’t make it through (a huge sigh of relief for some of you).
The rest of the week turned out to be a beautiful one. We continued to plug away at harvesting our largest remaining crop, the carrots. But most of the farm work took a back seat to the farm’s “educational hat”. I took the students to my friend’s farm, YB Forest Farm, in Freeville. The main focus of the trip was to show our students a larger maple syrup and shiitake log operation (but definitely attainable) than our own. It turned out to be much more than that. It became a wondrous journey through the forest. In addition to learning about how to identify sugar/red maple trees and how the management changes between the different strains of shiitake mushrooms being grown, we learned about varying forest management techniques; which trees to thin and the removal of invasive species.
We also saw the management of reintroducing native plant species, for both food production and wildlife habitat. I had the privilege of going twice and I definitely will be looking at the forest differently my next walk on a trail.
We also held our second Sustainable Farming and Food Systems Farm Tour/Career Day Panel for area high school students. There were about 50 students from Newark Valley, OCM Boces and TST Boces who came out to the farm for a tour, got the opportunity to participate in a Food Systems activity and listen to 4 panelists with different careers in agriculture/food system. It was a great day and a lot of folks worked hard to put it together. A big thanks to you!
Let’s get to this week’s CSA share. We are still holding on to summer for dear life because there are still eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers and tomatoes part of the choice. I mean, it is the end of October, so thank you, season extension. But there is definitely a fall vibe this week. There will be spinach, once again, along with the return of kale, napa cabbage, winter squash, kohlrabi and garlic. There will be an array of roots in the choice, including carrots, beets, potatoes, black radishes and two newbies, rutabagas and watermelon radish. The watermelon radishes are stunning when you cut them. They are great in salads but can also be cooked. In my opinion, for what it’s worth, they are more mild than the black radish. For those of you who just groaned when you saw the word rutabaga, here’s a recipe for rutabaga fries for inspiration. My wife will always season them up a little differently. Our almost 4-year-old will eat them (I think that has more to do with us calling them french fries)!
Until next time!