Planting season is coming to a close…
This week was bittersweet, starting to harvest the acorn squash and putting in an entire tunnel of spinach. That is it for planting for this season, the spinach will be ready mid-October and, with the extra protection, hopefully, the harvest will last a couple of weeks. Then as the days lengthen and the sun is higher in the sky the spinach should start to wake up and begin to grow again in mid to late February. Kathy and Judy tried out our seeder on the spinach beds and were amazed at its simplicity. The joke was that there should be notices at different locations such as: Planted by Kathy and Judy, Weeded by The Saturday Crew, etc.!
Preparing for cooler weather
As fall is approaching there are some tasks we do to prepare. Covering tender crops with row cover will give us a few extra weeks of harvest. Ten degrees of warmth for every layer. We cut back the tops of the pepper and tomato plants so that plant’s energy goes into maturing the larger fruits. Cleaning up beds of plant debris and planting a cover crop for soil nutrition and protection. Harvesting herbs to dry and seed heads for next years crop.
Tip for enriching cover crops
I am reading a book called Dirt to Soil. The author, Gabe Brown, is regenerating his family farm. He adds all kinds of plant seeds to his cover crops and believes it gives the microorganisms more to feed on. So I want to try to do the same. Sunflower and dill are two we will add.
Preserving tip: herbal salts
Herbal salts are an interesting way to preserve herbs, Just Kosher or coarse sea salt and herbs. Some recipes call for garlic too. The Splendid Table, on line, has a great recipe
and easy instructions. I thought I might try that this year.
A new variety of squash: Robin’s Koginut
This week we harvested the first hybrid squash/pumpkin from row 7 seed company. It’s called Robin’s Koginut and has the reputation of being super sweet. I will report on this later since the first one came home with me! They are beautiful, maybe another idea for a painting?
Numbers from the week: 3 counties, 15 locations, 15 types of veggies, 9,000 pounds
Three gleanings this week were distributed to three counties and, I believe, 15 different locations. There were 15 types of vegetables and herbs with the first of our Napa (or Chinese) cabbage and Spaghetti Squash in the mix. We are closing in on 9,000 pounds of fresh organic produce being gleaned and delivered.
Volunteers from Big Brothers Big Sisters
Saturday we hosted 15 adults and young people from the Big Brother’s Big Sisters organization. It was fun to have them experience the farm. The goats were a big hit as usual, but I was happy to see that the carrots pulled out of the garden by our guests were equally enjoyed. A couple of brave boys even ate some of our hot peppers!
Gratitude to all
Our volunteers are an amazing group. It is a pleasure to get to work with such generous people. Once again, thanks, everyone. Theda