Extended Season Week 2 of 4

After a bitter cold experience last week a lot of garden cleanup was needed. That continues this week – although the weather guesser claims there will be a lot of rain Wednesday – Thursday, so well what gets cleaned up moves into the greenhouse. Obviously, those items that seemed to persist longer than usual are done – but the squashes and root crops together with apples will fill the boxes while the rest are just fond memories.

Dead, dead, dead frozen Tomatoes. Dead.

There is this odd sort of wrongness feeling when you look at frozen tomatoes – that sense that “well, they look about right!

The interesting thing about cleanup and sealing things for the cold (water, the in-the-greenhouse beds) is that it is time to stock up on the cold season seeds that will be available in February.  There are limitations, of course, but there are also opportunities. Since the crop size is (relatively) small, it is a good place to try some new varieties. There are about 90 days till crops for the winter season need to be ready, but things happen slower when it is cold and dark – even with grow lights.

Cool and dim tolerant – for February!

Historically, some of these types have been slow to develop – especially carrots and beets. The beds as of right now (November 1) are still up around 50F below the surface – so, the plan is to go ahead and start the root crops and the onions in a heated bed that is covered and lit. Who knows – it would be thrilling (to the farmer) to have those ready from the greenhouse for February.

Meanwhile, of course, there are still this week and two more to wrap up the year. The outside lettuce actually seems pretty healthy despite the arctic cold – and the carrots are stellar. Beet greens are a bit frazzled but still reasonable, and of course the potatoes were hiding underground. The warmth that existed up till the freeze means the soil is reasonably good for those root crops. Cabbage, while tiny, are healthy as well. Surprisingly the curly mustard while bent is grimly determined to be available. And, of course, the small leafed Kale is smirking at those other tender plants as it shrugs off cold.

So – here’s what is coming –

Lettuce Muir or Nevada; the remaining red iceberg is tiny, it will go out as several small plants rather than the big pretty heads. Mostly green this week.
Brassicas Small heads of Red. Really small. Red or green Kale small leaves.
Roots  Carrots, Beets, and Dragon Radishes.  Beets are primarily good for greens, there are some medium to small roots, but not many.
Greens  Arugula, Chard,  Mustard – Mustard survived the deep cold… Arugula is also showing it’s mileage…
Herbs Some Cilantro. That’s about it!
Misc Potatoes, Squash,  4-6 Apples. The squash is going to be a Kuri – red or what is called black, but looks kinda greenish to the color illiterate farmer.

Yes, there are no flowers ever again this year. It was good. But it is compost now.

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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