Hutchins Farm October Newsletter

For those of you who simply want to know about our closing date and sign-up sheets for bulk produce without reading a whole lot of blather, you can skip to the penultimate, pertinent paragraph which begins with a sentence in BOLD CAPITALS.

Although it has yet to cool down, the shorter days and changing colors assure us that fall is here, and the end of the growing season is near.  We confess to deep ambivalence at the approach of winter—the mental and physical fatigue of keeping so many balls in the air (so to speak) is such that we crave the moment when we can drop our hands and let them fall.  On the other hand, the exercise of juggling (still metaphorically) is deeply satisfying, and doing it nonstop over the course of the season then suddenly stopping means an inevitable crash beyond the metaphorical balls crashing to the ground.  The end of the season for us means that we must reprioritize everything.  Whereas during the season, priorities seem to arrange themselves (as in—we’re out of arugula, must pick more, or the tomatoes are ready, must pick them), at the end of the season, all those jobs we relegated to some lower tier of our priority list (in order to get the arugula and tomatoes picked) suddenly float to the surface and demand to be put in some sort of new order.  We enter the cold season somewhat dazed, with a sense of many things left undone.

Anyway, the primary purpose of this note is not to whine but to inform:  We’re closing pretty soon, on Nov. 3rd to be precise.  Although some of my previous informational e-mails were primarily about whining, in particular about certain problems and potential shortages, it turns out that we have quite the abundance of nice produce for the last several weeks we’ll be open.  The weather, if you can get over the fact that it is probably a manifestation of climate change and should make us all anxious in the extreme as we blithely fail to change our carbon spewing ways, has been very pleasant.  And more than that, it has been conducive to sustained growth later in the season than is usual, which means that late planted crops that in some seasons may have simply shivered, sulked and failed to make much growth during October, look like they’re going to mature.  We’ve got some of the nicest fall lettuce I can remember (though supplies have been and may remain a little tight), along with an extended twilight for the summer crops—corn, beans and summer squash are just coming to an end this week; eggplant, peppers and tomatoes are still going strong.  Greens (kale, collards, chard, mustard, cabbage, spinach), herbs (parsley, cilantro, dill), and roots (carrots, parsnips, radishes small and large, turnips, rutabagas) are all abundant.  Broccoli is the best we’ve had for awhile, and cauliflower and romanesco should continue to be sporadically available.  The apple crop is the best any of us can remember, and our sweet potatoes that so spectacularly failed to produce last year have more than made up for it this year (I’m glad I didn’t give up on them).

As to the shortfalls alluded to in previous mailings, we do have a limited quantity of certain items that are usually abundant.  Carrots are plentiful, but not to the extent they usually are.  Potatoes are a little skimpy in size and volume, but we’ve still got a whole lot to dig. Beets are small and likely to be only occasionally available over the remainder of the month.  And Brussels sprouts are a little on the small size yet—they will be available, but probably later than is usual.

BEGIN READING NOW.  For those of you who would like to participate in our end-of-season sign up for bulk produce, we will, once again, be taking reservations for 50 lb bags of potatoes for $40, 25 lb bags of carrots for $30 and, new this year, 25 lb bags of sweet potatoes for $35.  All orders will be payable on pickup.  Like in past years, supplies will be limited and those first signed up will be the first to have their orders filled.  Unlike past years, we are reserving the right to choose the potato variety for those who sign up—most bags will likely be Kennebec, which performs well even when others don’t, and which we plant more of than any other variety.  Also unlike last year, sufficient carrots may not be mature by our specified pick up date, so we may ask people lower on the list to pick up at a later date (probably mid-November).  Normal pick up days will begin on Friday the 1st of November and last through Sunday, November 3rd our closing day.  People who are unable to pick up then should contact us to arrange a later (but not earlier) pick up date.  Bags will be filled in the order which the names appear on the sign up sheet.  If we have a similar response to the last few seasons, there may be more than usual unfilled orders as our supplies run out.  You can sign up in person at the farmstand, or can send in an e-mail request to be added to the list.

Hope you’re all enjoying the pleasant (but portentous) weather, and hope you can make it by in the next couple weeks to bid farewell ‘til next spring.

Brian Cramer
Farm Manager

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