Fall Predictions – Week 9 of 9

We’re going to shoot for a little larger share for the final week. Pretty much everything in the share should keep well in the fridge if you don’t get to it right away, even some of the greens. Here’s what I’m expecting:

Chard, kale and collards, radicchio, sugarloaf and escarole, arugula and mustard greens, leeks, onions, hakurei turnips, parsnips, carrots, and popcorn.

On the greens we’ll see how much we can get of all of those and it will likely be some mixed options. The radicchio and sugarloaf have been maturing slowly so I’m hoping more will be ready next week. The escarole still has some tip burn but it is super tasty with a little extra effort to clean. We should have a good quantity of arugula and enough for small bunches of mustard greens.

There’s some possibility that we may also have parsley, beets, small rutabaga, watermelon radishes, and even lettuce! It’s also possible that we might open some of those up for you-pick if we don’t have time to pick them ourselves, or if the quantities or sizes don’t make sense so come a little early to take advantage of the last light of the afternoon if you want to do a little gleaning.

Fall Share – Week 8 of 9

In today’s share: spinach, Gilfeather rutabaga, shallots, celeriac or parsnip, chard or kale or collards, little daikons, and sugarloaf or treviso chicory.

One more week and we’re cutting it a little tight this year both on maturity dates and quantities of some of the produce in the field. It’s easy for me to see the shortfalls in the field, but the actual shares themselves have seemed pretty good in the end – and certainly delicious. Here are some notes on the items in the shares this week:

Gilfeather rutabaga (or turnips, depending on who you ask) are a bit small but are still delicious and very sweet. We didn’t thin them and there was a bit of a mix up when they got seeded which means we have more than we intended to, but they’re also smaller – that kind of evens out quantity but makes a little more work. The same goes for the daikons.

We’re just a tad short on celeriac so parsnips are an alternate option. We’ll have more, maybe of both, next week and they’re big! But they both store very well and you can just hack off pieces and use them over time.

The sugarloaf and radicchio are right on the edge of making tight heads but are not all quite there yet so they’ll be mixed option both this week and next as I selectively harvest just the ones that are most ready.

We’ll harvest everything that’s left next week so expect an even larger share then.

Fall Predictions – Week 8 of 9

We’re coming up on the end of the season, just two more weeks of harvests remain. Here’s what I’m hoping we’ll have in the shares next week: spinach, sugarloaf chicory, shallots, turnips, daikon radishes, celeriac or parsnips, and a choice of kale, collards, or chard.

Looking ahead to the final week the possibilities include: radicchio, storage onions, leeks, salad turnips, watermelon radishes, beets, arugula, mustard, carrots and the usual mix of kale, collards, chard and a bit of cabbage.

It’s been tough predicting as crops have grown very, very slowly this fall. It’s good in the sense that things aren’t getting overgrown, but they’re all a bit smaller than ideal so I’m hoping a bit of moisture this coming week, and maybe the warm temperatures will help bulk things up, despite the very short days. These dry, sunny days have been great for working in and we are definitely appreciating not working in the usual cold, wet, muddy conditions of fall.

Yesterday we had time to do a little clean up in the afternoon and got some of the summer trellising ready to come down. By the end of our field work day at 5pm the sun was already down and the moon was high in the east.

Fall Predictions – Week 7 of 9

It was dark and scary at CSA pick up last night. This weekend we will turn our clocks back which will only make it darker – fortunately the scary part was just Halloween so we’re done with that. Due to the dark we’ll be shortening regular pick up hours for November to 4:30 to 6:00, and we’ll make bags for anyone who doesn’t show up during those hours.

Crops are growing very slowly this time of year but here’s my best guess at next week’s share: Escarole, arugula or mustard, chard, leeks, kohlrabi, winter radishes and carrots. There are a few crops that we have small quantities left of in the field, not enough for a full CSA distribution but enough that we’ll probably harvest them and give choices of one or the other, or offer them for sale on the farm stand.

The frosty mornings this week were just enough to start sweetening up a lot of the vegetables and the temperatures never really got cold enough for long enough to do significant damage to anything. The dry, sunny conditions make field work much more pleasant but oddly I’m finding myself missing the rain a bit, and it wouldn’t be bad to get another shot of water in the ground to help some of the crops bulk up a bit. On the other hand, one of the things I love about eating from the farm is that the weather dictates what’s good, and when, and it makes some of the decisions for us encouraging constant creativity.

Fall Predictions- Week 6 of 9

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The forecast for next week makes it look we’ll get the September we missed out on. I can’t decide if this is a good thing or not, but it should certainly make working in the fields a little more pleasant. I keep predicting parsley and one of these week’s it’ll make it into the shares. Chard, kale, collards and cabbage will continue with a pick one theme. Mustard greens or arugula are also likely in the greens category, and I’m hoping we’ll get one more round of head lettuce before we get into our chicory harvests. For roots we’ll probably have beets and Hakurei salad turnips. Parsnips are also in the plan and we’ll do a little exploratory digging on Monday to see what we can get. Storage onions of one sort or another will fill out the shares

We took advantage of the lovely weather to do a little more clean up in the fields. The cover crop that got seeded last week looks like it’s starting to come up well. All of the irrigation tape and sprinklers are out of the fields now. The tomatoes are strangely hanging on and still producing a few decent tomatoes so we’ll leave those up. With this weather I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few sweet peppers ripening. We may open those up for you-pick next week if so – although it’s quite possible that cold, clear nights this weekend might actually do them in finally.

Two final notes: Thursday is Halloween! Tiiu is planning on offering face painting at pick up that evening to anyone who’s interested (4:30-6:00). Second, the first week of November (in two weeks) is the end of Daylight Savings so pick-up hours will be extra dark. We’ll have lights at pick-up, but we’ll also only be staffing the pick-up until 6:00 for the November evenings.

Fall Predictions- Week 4 of 9

This week some of the cabbage was ready, just a bit – and a bit earlier than planned, and I’ve had this idea for a while about giving more choice of greens so I tried it out and harvested just the cabbage that was ready, along with bunches of kale and collards and then gave folks some choice at the CSA pick up. We’ll continue that in the future I think, although this coming week it’ll probably be mostly chard as it’s looking good and I’m not sure how much longer it’ll last (it’s our most frost sensitive of the big bunching greens).

I’m hoping the lettuce will continue to produce for at least another week or two, it’s not been holding as well as I’d like but we’ll harvest it as long as it’s useable.

Parsley is possible, as are small bunches of big arugula, or maybe bunches of rutabaga greens from thinning out our planting to help the roots size up. I think the salad turnips should be ready, and I hope those will also have nice greens. We may also have the first of the fall Bora King radishes, a colorful daikon type (pictured above on the right). Continuing on the root theme, carrots and celeriac are also strong possibilities. And, to round out the share we’ll toss in some onions.

We took advantage of the lovely weather yesterday and had a productive afternoon cleaning up the summer crops. The cucumber trellises came down and the corn, beans, squash, cucumber, and eggplant beds all got mowed. With a little luck we’ll have enough dry weather next week to put a bunch of cover crop seed down where those crops had been.

Fall Share – Week 3

Tomatoes are finished for the year (except for a few in the field that we’ve opened up for you-pick), peppers are waning, but the fall crops are filling the shares today and we’re trying some new things. In the share today leeks make their first appearance, and we have a bit of butter lettuce. I’ve put a cabbage in the photo but not all of the cabbage was ready so we’re giving the choice of cabbage, collards or kale this week and we’ll probably keep doing that for most of the rest of the season. Carrots and beets made it into the shares, as did the kabocha squash and some lovely spinach.

The leeks are long, which is great! The beet greens are beautiful! It’s definitely fall. The kabocha is ready to eat now, but it will get even better over the next few weeks if you don’t use it immediately – just leave it in a dry spot that’s not too cold. This last round of sweet peppers is a bit less ripe but they will continue to ripen and color fully on a kitchen counter.

It was nice to have another dry day in the field -especially since I was expecting to be harvesting in the rain all day. Looks like we might get lucky again on Thursday with the weather – fingers crossed.