The gardens are winding down but there is still much to harvest this week. We’re in the middle of bringing in all the storage crops and have many beds left to go of carrots, beets and watermelon radishes. We’re harvesting the last of the kale, swiss chard, salad turnips, french breakfast radishes, paste tomatoes, peppers, and fresh onions for the last outdoor farmers market this Sunday! We’ll also have red-veined spinach for purchase this weekend.
We had a lot to learn this year with our first time growing many storage crops. Normally market gardeners do not grow storage crops because they are not profitable in a small space. They take a lot of space per plant and take a long time to mature which cuts into the late summer season yields and makes the turnovers in the middle of the season very tight.
The rutabagas and kohlrabis have all been harvested and we’re half way through the leek bed. All these crops were a great success this season! The leeks we grew from seed and were the second thing seeded for the farm way back in March. Last season, the rutabagas had a lot of rove beetle damage but within one season, we have broken the pest cycle and had near perfect roots this season.
Harvesting leeks with our 16" tine broadfork. Leeks were transplanted about 6" below the ground to get nice long white stems.
Leeks: washed, trimmed and ready for eating!
We anticipated having a bounty of winter squash this year but as some of you may remember, the first round of squash was killed by a late cold snap and the second round of squash was smothered by clover and was not under irrigation at a time when we had no rain for about a month. Unfortunately, we won’t have winter squash for you all this year but we encourage you to support another local farmer and buy some from them.
Another of our storage crops we grew for you all was celeriac but we learned too late that each plant needs a lot of space. In fact, they do not want to touch each other at all and it’s best to plant things between them if possible. So we may have some mini celeriac that you’ll be able to purchase at winter markets but as of now, they are way too small to put into the CSA bags.
This week we brought our chickens to their new home in Sister Bay. We have new plans for what we want to do with the coop and chicken yard. Ideally, if we have chickens again one day, they will be in a mobile coop system. We’re taking the winter off from animal care (apart from feeding our barn cat and kitten) in preparation for milking goats next year! They’ll be for our personal use to expand on our homestead goals.
It’s hard to believe this market/CSA season is coming to a close already. We’ve greatly appreciated the support and encouragement we’ve had from our CSA members and it’s been a joy to meet so many new people at market this season. Our interactions and relationships we’ve developed over the past couple of years really helps us through the hard times of the season and makes our work more meaningful. Thank you!
We hope to see you at our last outdoor market this weekend. The next market will not be until November 12 from 10-2 inside the Baileys Harbor Town Hall. We'll have storage crops, lots of greens and dried flower wreaths.
CSA this week:
Storage onions- pink variety
Huckleberry gold potatoes
**Most things this week are storage crops. They will all keep for a long time in the refrigerator except the onions which you can keep in a cool place.
*Leeks- they’re a notoriously dirty crop. To clean well, slice length wise and run water between the layers. Great in creamy potato and leek soup!
*Watermelon radishes- similar in taste to the purple daikons you had earlier this season, slightly spicy. They can be roasted or sautéed which cuts down on the spiciness.
*Kohlrabi- peel and eat raw. Similar in flavor to broccoli stems so they are also great steamed.
*Rutabaga- in our opinion, an underrated vegetable. Great boiled and mashed with potatoes (they need to cook a bit longer than potatoes). Much more flavorful than store bought, waxy rutabagas!