Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Extending the growing season

As the days get shorter and weather cooler, we all seem to sleep better and our appetites increase! The markets are bustling this time of year as the fall crops hit the stands. Ben and I went for a long field tour to check the crops and are happy with what we see. There are some losses, as with the dry summer it was hard to keep everything alive and well. Success stories: our Broccoli is amazing! We planned this last year - have fall broccoli! The worms are also not insanely bad. Still some, but cooler temps I will thank for the lack of an infestation. Spinach and Tatsoi are impressive. Leeks are decent - planted less this year. Brussel Sprouts got topped a bit late, so they are throwing smaller sprouts but to put a positive spin on it - they look like 'christmas trees' and customers and kids dig it! Cabbage will prove to be our winter staple, and time permitting, we've got a lot of beets out there to eventually top and bin up. Celeriac is not as plentiful as last year, but we'll still have a decent amount. Onions are very plentiful and all binned up in the barn. We'll have garlic, but are once again harboring the best for seed. 0 carrots. Now Kale. How we've grown to love kale! We put in a huge second planting for the fall. Also another plan from last year. We also planted it in greenhouse no. 1. It's safe to say we'll have kale well into the winter months. We've also managed to stay on top of greenhouse work to ensure an extended growing season this coming winter. The 12 ft heirloom tomatoes have a lot of green fruit on them yet and with sunny days now that we've closed the greenhouses up, they should keep growing and ripening. We do not heat this greenhouse, so once it gets really cold, we'll strip the plants of fruit and place in hampers in the barn. Some continue to ripen and this is how we had tomatoes well into December a few years back! We are still harvesting green beans and peppers at this date! We've just started mass digging the potatoes too for storage. Reds and fingerlings will soon join our golds! And on top of all this our three guys have just finished hoeing the strawberries again!! A LOT of work to cultivate good June/July berries! Enjoy our fall harvest and follow us on twitter @SosnickiOrganic for very regular farm news!