Happy September everyone! Autumn begins this month which means we’ll slowly be moving into our cool weather crops again. You can look forward to lettuce, turnips, radishes, carrots, cabbage and broccoli in the coming month. The last of the cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and heirloom tomatoes will be available for market this weekend (Sept. 11) and next weekend (Sept. 18) only! Not that we are looking forward to pulling out our 10 foot high tomato plants, but we’re excited for the change of season and the tunnels need to be planted for winter. We love working in the cool weather this time of year and are looking forward to seeing our cover crop grow lush and green after we harvest our final beds of vegetables this month.
Hilling beets with furrowing tool
Red cabbage, lettuce, chinese cabbage, and leeks
This year we are seeding oats as our cover crop because it will die back in the winter unlike the wheat we seeded last fall. Being a no-till farm without a tractor we have to be careful with what we plant so that we don’t cause a problem for ourselves. We can’t simply get out the tractor and till under the cover crop if it returns in the spring. This spring we used very large tarps to smother the wheat as it started to green up and luckily it mostly worked. There were a few beds that didn’t get smothered quite long enough before the vegetables had to go in and we had to cultivate it down with our wheel hoe which was very difficult. The cover crop is almost always a grass which means thick mats of roots and our tools (and bodies) are not quite strong enough to make “weeding” it an easy task. But we were very impressed with the tilth (fluffiness) of our soil and believe in always having it covered in some way. The oats we’re seeding this year will form nice roots and die back this winter, protecting the soil but also breaking down just enough for us to come in early in the spring.
Oats broadcast by hand in empty spaces
Reminder: The Baileys Harbor Farmers Market goes until October 16th!
Glorious scarlet queen turnips
We’re on CSA drop off number 14! Just a reminder, the final CSA bag goes out October 19th. Thank you for being so consistent with bringing your bags back every week, you guys are great!
What’s in the CSA this week:
Scarlet Queen turnips*
Italian frying peppers
French green beans
*scarlet queen turnips- I could smell the spiciness on these turnips when harvesting them. You will probably prefer to roast them or sauté them unless you like the heat! You can wilt the greens over any dish at the end of cooking for a minute or two.