Frosty mornings, wind-tossed leaves, adding and shedding layers of clothes each day—all are signs that the season is coming to an end. Our plantings of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant are still standing, but are dead and black as if last week’s frost had literally burned them. Bleached corn stalks rattle in the breeze. Long shadows last late into the morning, and stretch out early in the afternoon. Plantings of kale and chard that seemed inexhaustible in August are now slow to replenish their leaves. Large areas of the farm have been put to bed under a rich green blanket of winter rye and hairy vetch that will go dormant as temperatures fall and daylight diminishes, but awaken with lush growth when the days lengthen and warm next spring, ultimately to enrich our fields and crops as they decompose.
As the season winds down, our crop mix changes, with summer fruits like tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini becoming less abundant or disappearing altogether, while the sturdy roots, chock full of the nutrients they need to survive the winter and resume growth in the spring, come into their own. Leafy greens like lettuce, arugula and spinach thrive in the cooler temperatures. Frosty mornings lend carrots a crisp sweetness that they can’t achieve in the summer months, while the large brassica tribe—broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, etc.—become considerably sweeter and more tender.
Our potato crop was a good one, and we have generous quantities of high quality spuds available by the pound or in 5, 10 and 20 pound bags. Sign up sheets for 50 lb potato bags and 25 lb carrot bags are still open. Our winter squash and pumpkin crop was better this year than last, but still not stellar. We currently have good supplies of acorn and sweet dumpling squash, along with some of the larger Tetsukabuto squash and Neck Pumpkin
We will be closing on October 31st this year, which falls on a Wednesday. We hope that many of you will be able to make another trip out to the farm before the end of the season. If you do, you will likely find: lettuce, arugula, radishes, turnips, rutabaga, potatoes, popcorn, Indian corn, mizuna, mustard greens, chard, bok choy, daikon, cabbage, carrots, beets, celeriac, cilantro, parsley, dill, leeks, kohlrabi and Chinese cabbage. You may also find: radicchio, fennel, tomatoes, peppers sweet and hot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, endive, kale, collards, scallions, sweet potatoes and spinach.
Here’s hoping for a long, pleasant Indian Summer, to be followed by a real New England winter (brrr!).