Is it Fall already?!
The cool nights and crisp sparkly light leave me wondering if the season has turned a corner. We are in the midst of peak pepper and tomato harvest, so I'd be glad for a few more warm days - but I can't deny that I'm sad to put on a sweatshirt in the evening. What a relief!
Given the impending shift toward cooler nights, we are likely to see some shifts in the fields and tunnels. Over the next few weeks, as we begin our last few seedings of greens and roots, we'll be aiming to maximize our time with basil, sweet peppers, and sun-ripened tomatoes.
This week on the list you will find bulk quantities of basil, and bell peppers. If you haven't yet had a chance to make pesto, or freeze some sunshine for the deep winter months, now is your chance.
Meanwhile, kale and chard is on its way back in. Our first harvests of fall plantings (and renewed harvests on refreshed spring plantings) will begin this week. With enough fertility and water, these long-lived greens rebound nicely from the relentless heat and pest pressure, to continue giving SO MUCH FOOD well into the fall. It's NW food security at its finest.
A couple other crop updates: Our main succession of green beans have come and gone, though we do have one smaller planting that will be in full production in a couple weeks. It's our favorite variety, called Empress, and will be available in limited supply for some late-summer bean love. Also, we are waiting on a beautiful bed of sweet fennel (after a small Spring planting), and are looking forward to offering this underrated crop. Along with sweet onions and Jimmy Nardello sweet peppers, this is perhaps one of my favorite secret sauté ingredients. Nothing caramelizes and adds depth to a dish quite like sweet bulb fennel.
Bunched carrots are making a guest appearance this week and they are perfect! We struggled mightily with our summer carrot successions (poor germ and lots of pest pressure), but we did manage to squeak out one beautiful bed, and there are more on the way for late summer and fall. Our amazing crew spent a few hours last week hand-weeding three very grassy beds of tiny fall carrot seedlings. This is to ensure that we have an ample supply of fall storage carrots. These are a labor of love!
Lastly, if you haven't had a chance to try the Huckleberry Gold potatoes, please do. They are sincerely the best potato I've ever had. Due to their sweetness, they are not a long storage variety, but an exceptional main season crop with unparalleled creamy, smooth texture and beautiful gold flesh with purple skin. Not overly starchy, they are best roasted or boiled or fried. SO. GOOD. Get 'em!
And, as always, please reach out with any thought, requests, or questions. This has been such a humbling and bountiful season. We are ever grateful for the generosity of our Earth - her soil, her water, and for now, her clean air! Our hearts go out to so many friends and family affected by the extensive and unbridled burning in Oregon and California. After our experience last season, my heart (and lungs) hurt when I hear of those displaced by fire and smoke. These are uncertain and unpredictable times. Each day, I give thanks for the privileged opportunity to put my hands in the soil and to gather sustenance from the earth. What a life we live! Thank you for sharing it with us.