It’s a Week A Pick-Up This Thursday, September 14th!
We still really need extra plastic bags,
please bring any extras you have to pick up this Thursday!
This week’s share:
-Bicolor sweet corn
-Beans (in most cases)
-A mustard mix
-Your choice of kale or Swiss chard, and more. (Some makeup shares may be available for people who weren’t able to get one of the choices last week)
-Your fruit share will be Zeststar apples.
CSA News from Windflower Farm
Delivery #15, September 12 and 14, 2017
We are entering the final third of the CSA season. This is a transitional period at the farm. By the end of September, the crops of summer will have given way to the crops of fall. The cool weather will make our tomatoes and basil disappear first, and then our beans and sweet corn. Frost typically arrives here in the last week of September and, by October, shares become dominated by winter squashes, root crops and hardy greens.
What’s to come in the weeks ahead? Beets and cabbage (along with eggplant) will continue to show up as a weekly choice (has that been working out?), and onions and potatoes will make regular appearances. After a late start, you can expect carrots to arrive every week, beginning this week. For now, we have summer squashes, but acorn and Delicata squashes will show up soon, once curing in the greenhouse has converted their starches into sugars. Butternuts, which require more time to mature, will arrive soon afterwards (we began harvesting them today). Leeks and sweet potatoes will be in your final four deliveries. They both need more time to attain the size we are looking for, and, in the case of the sweet potatoes, they also require a period of curing. Yesterday, we transplanted just over 25,000 seedlings, among the last we’ll put in the field this year. These will be the salad and cooking greens in your October shares and the first greens in the winter share. I’ll miss the crops of summer, but I enjoy fall weather and the foods that go with it.
We have seeded all of our winter greens in the greenhouse, and we’ll transplant them once we remove the tomato plants from our greenhouses and caterpillar tunnels and rework the soil.
We are currently getting three crops in place for next year: strawberries, onions and garlic. For strawberries, we’ve “harvested” the daughter plants – the plantlets at the end of the little runners you see in a strawberry field – and are now rooting them in the greenhouse. We’ll plant them in a week or so, mulch them in October to protect their crowns against frost heaving, ignore them until weeding in May, and harvest in June.
Like many garlic growers, we start over with fresh planting stock every couple of years. Garlic is susceptible to a number of problems caused by small creepy-crawlies like bulb mites and the fungus, Fusarium, and it’s a good idea to get a new start every so often. Ed Fraser, a master garlic grower, something that has come from years of attention to just one crop, is providing us with 300 lb of German White, a porcelain, and 200 lb of German Red, a spicy Rocambol. These are both “hardneck” garlic types, which means they produce their cloves around a central core from which a stalk of scapes emerges. Once we receive the garlic bulbs, we’ll break them into cloves, which we’ll plant right after the strawberries. The clove goes on to produce a new bulb in the year after it’s planted. And planting onions, the third crop we are putting in place for next year, follows immediately on the heels of garlic planting, and the technique is identical to that of garlic. The fall planting of onions is still relatively new here, but I’ve become a big fan. They perform better than spring-sown onions and the work takes place when things are beginning to slow down here instead of during the busy spring planting season.
Have a good week, Ted