We planted our final crops for this season last week- chard, beets, lettuces, and chicory (or winter lettuces). Farm tasks have now switched to mowing and removing old crops, pulling out irrigation and prepping the beds for winter. We will also be setting up some of our beds for garlic planting later this week. We overwinter the garlic, usually planting it in late October or early November and mulching it with straw. As the days get shorter and shorter, the crops halt growth as well. Annual crops will start to go into their final ripening stages (crops like the peppers, cape gooseberries, winter squash, and tomatoes) until we cut or mow them out. We are very fortunate in our climate to be able to grow certain crops all winter long. Kale, Chard, Beets, Cabbages, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Chicory and more! As days get shorter than 12 hours, the plants will halt growth- plants like winter lettuce (or chicory) and roots will get sweeter with the first frost.
Autumn is a much welcome season and our final dash to get as many things harvested, preserved, and out to our members and markets. We've started up the dehydrator and freeze drier this last week. We dry many of our own peppers for making chili salt and seasonings. We are also doing some experimentation with the freeze drier and coming up with recipes to preserve the harvests. One of my very favorite recipes is "rutabagatata" or mashed rutabaga with mashed potatoes. Rutabaga or "swede" is a root veggie in the brassica (cabbage/broccoli) family. It is closely related to a turnip but I find the flavor sweeter and more mild. It was first used in Sweden as a culinary favorite. Rutabaga is also a great low carb alternative to potatoes and make great fries or chips. They are now available on the list!
Another new item this week is the Sweet Dumpling Squash. It is a cross between acorn and delicata. You can eat the skin like acorn and delicata. One of my favorite methods of preparing these is to carefully cut the top off, scoop out the seeds, bake for 30 or so minutes in the oven and then fill them with curry or stew and do a final bake until they're tender. It's an edible bowl, and oh so delicious!!!
Our final main season shares will be at the end of this month (October 31st). After that we have one final "Cornucopia" share that consists of lots of storage crops, greens, herbs, and other goodies to get you through the holidays. There are still a few shares left, if you're interested you can purchase the Cornucopia Harvest Share on the main page.
Warmest wishes from your farmers,
Kelly & Patrick