The cool weather is really starting to settle in this week. Thursday night the skies were clear and we had a very light frost in areas of the farm. Luckily none of the crops were damaged but it’s a reminder that we need to keep a watchful eye on the lows and get things covered with frost cover that might be sensitive at least for the next couple of weeks. We don’t have many summer crops left in the field apart from Amish paste tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. The rest of the crops do better in cooler weather and some like parsnips, rutabagas and carrots actually taste better after a light frost or two.
CSA bags were pretty full last week!
We’ve begun our big fall project this week of converting the wood shed into the tool shed. The shed has been housing our sandbags, rebar, T-posts and lots of lumber left over from when the barn was redone in the 2000’s. It’s large enough and closer to the gardens than our current tool shed which is also the potting shed. The plan is to clean up the wood shed and have it house our tarps, frost covers, tools, and harvest carts so that they are closer to the gardens. While removing the sandbags we found a tiny week old kitten and the mama! The next day the mom had moved her kitten off the farm but we put cat food out for her now and she’s been coming back at night. We are hoping to keep her and her kitten coming around to keep the mice and voles away from our frost covers this winter.
Some of the apples we harvested and storage onions
The apple harvest has begun this week and they are delicious! We harvested for the CSA into 1/2 peck sized bags and another 5 totes full and we haven’t even gotten to the MacIntosh apples! The apples have “on” and “off” years and this is definitely a good apple year for us despite all the Japanese beetle damage. Unfortunately, we cannot call the apples organic. The orchard was sprayed only once for Japanese beetles in early August by a neighboring orchardist. This winter we’ll be researching how to manage the apples organically when we take over the entirety of the property next year. We hear from others that the Honeycrisp variety is very weak and was bred to be sprayed, so we may have an uphill battle with these trees but we are determined.
Radishes and lettuce are flourishing, arugula and turnips coming soon!
Ben harvesting fresh onions
This week we pulled out the last of the summer squash, it is much too cold for them now and they were covered in squash bugs. Any time something is infested it’s best to just remove it from the garden so you don’t create a problem for next year. We have started to harvest the storage kohlrabi and this week the tunnels got three more beds seeded; turnips, kale, swiss chard, and arugula for winter markets. Heirloom tomatoes are all gone as are the cucumbers. The cover crop is looking fantastic. We’re hoping for a nice sunny finish to the week to ripen some more of our Amish paste tomatoes in the field because there is a lot of fruit out there! We’ve been harvesting from the same two and a half beds of fresh onions for three weeks now and there are still more. We’re so proud of how these beds produced!
We’ve got three more farmers markets in Baileys Harbor left for the season: October 2, 9, and 16.
What’s in the CSA this week:
Head lettuce- Red oak leaf