Yesterday I brought the bulk of the winter seeding to a close with an acre of various crops. I planted some watermelon radishes, turnips, and beets as well as more greens. I made the first attempt of the fall at spinach, which does not germinate in hot weather, and got in some baby kale and chard as well.
As the summer season starts to fade behind us and we move into fall we move into my favorite time of year for both farming and cooking. We still have some of the summer crops which provide staples to salads and sauces. But we are also starting to see more fall crops as well. So any given day you can sort of choose which season you want to be eating in. You can have a tomato salad for lunch and a butternut squash and potato dish for dinner. And we start to see a return of some of those precious things which tend not to thrive in the heat of the summer. Last Thursday we transplanted lettuce from the greenhouse, finally hoping that the cooler weather will allow it to grow successfully. And the fresh radishes and greens that I planted a few weeks ago are finally taking shape. A few of them did not germinate due to some hot dry weather we had right after I planted them, but others are coming up in vigor. And some more that I planted just this past Friday after we finished harvesting are already up above the ground!
It is also a wonderful time of year to be farming because the stress of early spring is also far behind us. Now we can just farm. The weeds are slowing down, the crops are enjoying the cooler weather and we have all had plenty of tomatoes so we don’t worry too much as they begin to see some disease and produce a bit less. We also don’t worry about this because we know there are many other treats to come. We planted our eggplant late this year, which I was worried about at first, but now it seems a blessing. The bugs are less vigorous and it is just starting to get ready as some of the other summer crops like squash, fade away. It will still be a few weeks before those later greens are really ready to harvest but in the meantime we have some kale, collards and sweet potato greens to fill the void. And thus you get a little glimpse into how I go about each week determining what will be in the share and planning to try to make sure the variety is one of abundance each week. Walking around the fields and looking at what is doing well, I am looking forward to a fall of squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, greens and more!