Everything comes to a close sometime, and the CSA main season is very near to done. In the fall as things draw to a close part of the garden job is cleaning up and preparing the beds for winter, and then for Spring. The main goal is to not make the same mistakes ever again: the lack of a good Spring with warmth and drying was a rude shock. So, when the weather guesser says La Nina is still hanging around – then provisions need to be made.
This is a bed being set up to be as warm, dry and fertile as possible early in the Spring. It is sandy soil, with a couple inches of mulch and irrigation that will be under a cold frame cover. The 2-3 inch rain days in June of 2022 mean a cold frame can keep the bed from being waterlogged and hence chilled. The plan is to take this dry spell in October/November and set up as many of these beds as possible.
These four beds are in the same area. The floating crop covers are for the winter cabbage to keep damage from cabbage butterfly larva under control (front bed) and to protect the young lettuce from the voracious birds that eat baby lettuce leaf. The bed on the upper left is prepared for over-wintering, the one on the far right has new snap peas – in fact, there are a handful of immature snap peas on it now. Along with the snap peas there are some Cauliflower, Broccoli and some (ugly but good tasting) cabbage ready. It is a bit shocking to see how fast the cool season crops started getting ready when the equinox came.
Cabbage heads are getting bigger – the few which have been handed out recently where all about the size of a softball. The heads forming or ready now are a bit bigger, still not the giant heads which were hoped for.
Now, the missing crops which some of you have yearned all season to see… well. Sad to say there are zero sweet potatoes or winter squash. After the debacle analysis blames June – that said, the ultimate responsibility is a failure by the farmer. This circles back to preparing beds that can handle evil weather in Spring and get things going. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me…
meet the soon-to-be lumber used for bed edge and cold frames:
it is good to have a lumber mill.
One last general comment – extended season starts in September – after next week. It is only four weeks long – and will have cool season crops. New lettuce has been set out; the current lettuce should carry through. The warm fall is doing great things for the ultra-late beans and peppers. You will be getting green bell peppers this week – what has been discovered empirically is that the nice big peppers will turn color and get sweeter if left on your counter or windowsill.
That said, here is what to expect this week taking into account your preferences:
|Lettuce||Romaine (green) or Bibb-romaine cross; smaller heads.|
|Brassicas||One or more of: a Broccoli, Cauliflower or Cabbage. Speak up if you have a preference. Is Kale a Brassica? well, there is Kale if you ask or farmer’s choice.|
|Roots||Red beets and White beets with greens. Carrots, Parsnips and Turnips are targeting known Soup people or those who have ask|
|Greens||Curly Mustard is gone, went to seed. Red Chard, White chard went to seed. Arugula as farmers choice unless you have a history of loving it.|
|Herbs||Chives, Parsley, Basil, Celery – two stalks nominal, plenty more if you crave it.|
|Misc||green beans, MAYBE a few snap peas later in the week.
Potatoes – Russets are gone (well, almost). Maybe a Cal White or two. If you want potatoes, ask.
Bigger bulb onion and a few green onions.
Flower of the week: Cut Flowers. The Flower farmer claims she might do a last cut of Roses, TBD.
Tomato Cherries and Slicers. Tomatoes. Cherries – nominal 1/2 pint. Maybe a pint if the picking holds up.
Cukes – not enough for everyone. More coming, fruit is set and growing.
Bell peppers are now big and green, hot peppers are also big and green albeit getting paler.
Summer squash: Random choice of Hook neck, Zucchini, Patty Pan.
Eggplant – Millionaire (tube shaped) or Rolandia (Round).
Robber Birds cleaned out the grapes. It was amazingly fast. Gone in a day!
Red apples, a couple or so
Coming Soon: Winter… – and there might be about 10 heads of corn. How embarrassing. Fingerling potatoes in extended season.
If you have not paid for Extended season you should let us know your intentions… unless you already have…
BEEF: Still have Half of the big cow – good chance to buy a quarter of a beef of Hamburger and sausage… Need to hear from you soon, will be sending out email to buyers this week…