Basket Contents: Acorn squash, peppers, lettuce, Brussels sprouts or leeks, beets, carrots, cauliflower or turnips, chard or spinach, tomatoes, thyme
Recipe: Roasted Acorn Squash Soup
October on the farm is a time of winding down and ‘finishing’ the fields. Last week we pulled out all the tomato, eggplant, and pepper plants, and this week the work of clearing the fields continues. We have replanted a cover crop to protect the soil in the areas of the vegetable fields that have been cleared out. The work of harvesting all of the winter storage crops: cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, beets and many more, is in full swing. Many of the root crops (carrots, parsnips, beets) are sweeter after a little bit of frost, and so we have still a few more weeks to remove the hundreds of pounds of these delicious roots from the fields and get them in our cold room for enjoyment in November, December and beyond.
However, in addition to all of this closing down work, it is also a time to plant greens in the greenhouse! These greens will provide delicious freshness in the winter, when it is so hard to come by local green things. We have pulled out all of the tomato plants in the greenhouse, to make space for our winter salad mix, bok choy, kale and spinach.
Once it starts to frost on a regular basis, we will cover all the beds with two layers of row cover, which help to insulate the plants and the soil against the cold. We do not heat the greenhouse, but when it is sunny in the winter, temperatures can even reach as high as 20 degrees Celcius, even when it is well below zero outside! Overnight, of course, it freezes inside the greenhouse, and the plants’ leaves do freeze. However, as long as we wait till the leaves have defrosted before harvesting, there is no damage to the harvested crop. Indeed, the constant freezing and defrosting of the leaves helps to concentrate the sugars, so the spinach and other greens are even sweeter than in the summer!
We like to think that the planting of greens in the fall is a nice example of the changing of the seasons as well as the diversity of our farm. One section of the farm may be winding down, but another is just beginning!
And if all this talk of winter vegetables has made your mouth water, we still have a few places left in our fall basket season, you can sign up here:
Have a great week everyone!