Nineteenth week of the main season!

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.

Bring on the winter – this bed is Prepared! (Doomsday prepper)

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.

floating crop covers: “You shall not pass!”

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.

The few, The proud, the Cauliflower!

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.

Cabbage of various size and condition. But sweet.

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:

Bed hard edging hidden inside logs, waiting to be freed.

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…

By Doug

--- 'farmer doug' is the planner and heavy lifter for the CSA and the LLC. Loves to teach; "ask him the time, he'll tell you how to make a clock." Always has a new idea to try, some of which work. BTW - if you try and phone call, and you are NOT in his caller ID you will not be answered - just leave a message and you will be called right back.

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