Last week saw the return of real Fall. Sigh. We always hope to eek out the last few weeks with only light frost and hope to only lose the basil, but we actually had a last minute frost that wasn’t forecast for us but for the northern part of the state. Since we fall in the middle of the state, just above 90 and not quite as close to the ocean as some of our farmer friends, it is always a little tenuous to predict which forecasts we should pay more attention too and in farming, it ALWAYS pays to be on the safe side. Of course, the forecast changed pretty dramatically during the day which led to a semi-frantic rush in the afternoon to cover some sensitive baby plants (and some almost mature ones) with floating row cover to protect them. It was a little despairing as the winds were sustained at 15mph–something which makes a difficult chore even more difficult as we have to unwind 200 feet of cloth and get it to lie down on a bed of bumpy veggies.
We ended up having unexpected help arrive in the form of two teenage helpers from Assabet High School. They helped to put out the wire hoops and Dani and I were able to roll out the reemay on top and follow with shovels and dirt. It was really smooth and we got most of the beds undercover before dark.
Here comes the sad part….covering fully grown plants is not easy and sometimes not possible. The summer is truly over when you walk outside to that crisp morning and black plants. Eggplant, summer squash, peppers and tomatoes are finally really done. And so, we come to the goodbye for most of our beloved PYO. Most of the remaining flowers, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, okra, basil and beans did not survive. We did manage to cover some of the beans, and will have them open this week during CSA. The herbs remain fine as well and should be ok until we have a hard frost.
Don’t worry about CSA though! We have so many delicious frost-hardy greens, radishes, carrots, and more coming your way in the remaining weeks and for winter CSA when it starts on 11/9. We are actually still planting out there in the fields and the high tunnel and a whole new planting of lettuces will go in this week.
In Your Share This Week (maybe):
| Peppers, sweet fryers and bells|
Kale, green curly
Bok Choi, baby
Napa–Tokyo Bekana (lettuce leaf style)
Spicy Salad (also known as Power greens)
Lettuce, red leaf
Sunshine Kabocha Winter Squash
Notes From the Field
What do colder nights and temps mean for the flerd? Most of the time, they are fine. They are ruminants and have four stomachs, similar to cattle and deer, and the largest of the stomachs-the rumen- is like a big chemical factory that generates heat while it is breaking down the cellulose found in the plant material that they favor. In dry conditions, they are actually happier in cold temps because it means no bugs internally or externally.
The sheep have the added advantage of wool, which keeps them warm and insulated even when they are wet. The goats are at a little more of a disadvantage and this time of year we are keeping a close eye on the weather conditions and making special accommodations based on age and breed for low temps combined with rain and wind. One is providing them with pastures where there is good wind protection and another is shelter from rain. We are also in process of cleaning the composted bedding from the barn (yep, that’s that slightly more ‘farmy’ smell we’ve had the last couple days). We wait to clean until the material has had a chance to compost and solarize AND it is cooler out so that more of our neighbors will have their windows closed and it is less intrusive. #suburbanfarming
Farm Stand News!
WE HAVE SALMON AGAIN!!!! We took delivery of Papa’s Catch Wild Alaskan Sock-eye Salmon this weekend! We are so excited to have this delicious fish in the store once again. These gorgeous slabs of deep coral-pink fish are filled with Omega-3’s and natural goodness in addition to being some of the best fish we’ve ever had. If you haven’t read the story online about Josh Pierson, Southborough resident, Captain of his incredible fishing boat and their annual Alaskan adventures… check it out here.
Reminding everyone that with the cooler weather rolling in, we have all your warm drinks stocked up in the farmstand! Dean’s Coffees and Hot Cocoa mix, Tea Guys delicious teas! Stock up and stay warm!