Distribution #16, Week of September 21, 2020

The News from Windflower Farm

Happy fall from all of us at Windflower Farm, where one of our hottest and driest summers ever has given way to the cold temperatures of fall and warnings of early frost. By Thursday of last week, we had harvested all of our winter squashes. This week, you’ll get Delicatas. Acorns will be in your shares next, followed by butternuts. It’s become cold enough here to move back into the kitchen, and roasted squashes, squash soup and squash muffins are all on the menu. Yesterday, Nate made pumpkin muffins (with dried cranberries and chocolate chips) from a recipe he found at lovelylittlekitchen.com.

This week’s share

  • Assorted tomatoes
  • Colorful sweet peppers
  • Carrots
  • Dill
  • Delicata squash
  • Red and yellow onions
  • Greenleaf lettuce
  • Tatsoi
  • Swiss chard
  • German Red garlic        

Your fruit share will be a bagful of Pete’s Macintosh apples and Bartlett pears.

What’s new on the farm?

Killdeer have begun their flocking, and their numbers appear healthy to me. I like to think that they have found a safe haven here, but how can I know? I noticed them last week while working a field in preparation for cover cropping. Soon, they’ll head to Mexico, and they are looking to bulk up for the flight. The disc brings soil dwelling insects and worms to the surface and the flock swarms down to scoop them up. In the spring of the year, Killdeer would dread the coming of the tractor. They make nests on the ground after we’ve plowed but generally before we’ve planted. Because of their broken wing ploy, we can usually find and flag their nests so that we can avoid them as we pull the transplanter across the field. For a few days, their hatchlings are little flightless puffballs and a year or two back Jan could not resist the temptation to catch one in her hands (she is similarly hands on with snakes and baby rabbits). She may have frightened the little thing for a moment, but it was soon off doing what its siblings were doing, eating seeds or bugs. And now I imagine it as part of this flock making plans for Mexico.     

A week ago, the trees in our hedgerows were deep green. Today reds and oranges are peeking through, and in a week or two they’ll be in full color. We expect our first frost tonight. And so, a little too soon, summer is over. The Hudson River, which lies five miles west of here, at the end of our road, sits at an elevation of about 90’. Our farm lies some 800’ above the river, and that is what gives us some protection against the first frosts, which tend to snake along valley floors. I visited a friend whose farm is a mile east and perhaps 100 or 150’ above the level of the river. He told me that his first frost occurred two days ago and it caught him by surprise, spoiling a large portion of his winter squash crop. We had a little more time to prepare. Nate and I spent half a day on Wednesday dropping sandbags in all of the places where we intended to put row covers, and then a full day on Thursday rolling out covers, spreading them over the top of the cold sensitive crops and then repositioning the sandbags along their edges. The farm team helped with the last pieces – draping covers over the peppers and eggplants that now stand up to my shoulders. Had we not taken these steps, we’d be hard pressed to fill our truck during the final weeks of the season. Often, if our crops survive the first frosts, they will continue to grow for another three or four weeks, or as long as the Indian Summer lasts. In the meantime, it’s time to sharpen your skis!

Have a great week, Ted

Author: Central Brooklyn CSA

The Central Brooklyn CSA (CBCSA) is dedicated to working with our partners the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Windflower Farm, and the Hebron French Speaking SDA Church to continue the work of building a Community Supported Agriculture model that increases access to fresh, local produce for all members of our communities, regardless of income level. Join us as we continue to bring fresh, organic, affordable and nutritious vegetables and fruit to the Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, and surrounding communities.

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