Farm Happenings at Four Beat Farm
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Farm Happenings for October 28, 2020

Posted on October 24th, 2020 by Naomi Martz

Well folks, it's chilly times at the farm.  Our crew put in an epic effort on Friday, harvesting beets and celeriac in the snow (yes, it was indeed snowing) as well as buttoning up our squash storage space in preparation for the cold nights.  How does this affect the vegetables, you may wonder?  Great question!

For some crops, like parsnips, the cold nights sweetens them up.  We actually wait until a hard frost to start harvesting them to ensure the best possible taste.

For some leafier crops, like salads, it is unlikely they will bounce back well from the freezing temperatures (even though they are covered with row cover fabric, it only protects them from a gentle frost).  That said, we will be transitioning to more of the hardier greens, like kale, and gather whatever fresh leafy vitamins we can find from the field.

For some sturdier crops, like cabbage and celeriac, it really depends on how cold it gets.  Sure, they don't mind -5C...but -10C (also forecasted for this weekend in Pemberton Meadows) can cause damage to the plants.  So we have put in some long days harvesting this past week to get them safely tucked away in the cooler (which is warmer than the outdoors...a bit funny, eh?).

For your farmers, an early cold snap like this can be rather stressful.  There's no way around it.  Getting everything picked, cut, packed, and tucked away is a real mission.  However, it is a real relief to know that we have such a great community of harvest share members (that's you!) who will be ready to receive the veggies, and who will understand that nature does not always goes exactly as planned.  So we do our best to keep on smiling and to keep our fingers warm while we harvest.  It's also a time of great satisfaction as we see just how late into the fall season we can grow delicious local produce for you.  For example, we've got some greens planted in the unheated greenhouses in the hopes of having some fresh stuff even once the snow comes back and sticks.  Yum!

It's our last week of working together as a full field crew, as Sarah and Matt head off to winter adventures after Halloween.  You'll see Kate and I (Naomi) at our last pick up on November 4th, and then out on deliveries starting on the 19th for all you Late Season Box folks.  This week we hope to wrap up some big harvests, get the greenhouses ready for winter, and get the garlic mulched with straw before the ground freezes.

As the days get shorter and we transition more and more into a "wintery" vegetable selection, we thank you for your commitment to local eating and to our farm this year.


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