Well, it's hard to believe, but this is the last official CSA delivery of the year. This summer went by so quickly! And with temperatures in the eighties, it sure doesn't seem like fall. But the leaves are on the ground and the forecast is going to cool off a bit. I just hope it holds out through next Thursday! That is the 'bonus' delivery that the interns are going to deliver by themselves. In other years, it has snowed or rained, but this year, I have hopes that it's not going to be that bad. We'll see.
Yesterday, our field tour was short and sweet. It's really satisfying going from section to section and seeing the few crops available for delivery, pronouncing the other sections finished and marking it for cover cropping, mowing, tilling, or other treatments before the winter. In section 1, all that's left are leeks. We have enough to harvest them for both deliveries. Section 2 is completely finished. The buckwheat that was cover cropping the area over the late summer has been mowed down to decompose, to prepare for the garlic planting which will take place two Mondays from yesterday, barring weather difficulties.
Section 3 is in cover crop, Section 4 has just been planted with clover. We are doing an experiment on that section, by using different methods to till it into the soil (tiller vs. wheel hoe), as well as putting a nurse crop of oats on some parts.
Section 5 is well cover cropped. Section 6 still has several lingering brassicas which we will harvest this week or next: broccoli, kale of various types, chard, brussels sprouts, and cabbages which most likely won't size up in time for us to deliver.
Section 7 was just mowed down, as it contained tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, which died in the frost we had last week. Section 8 is part cover crop, part popcorn, which we promptly harvested to deliver to the CSA this week.
And Spillover has several crops which will be delivered if ready: mustard greens (including arugula and mizuna), kohlrabi, radishes, spinach, lettuce mix, lettuce heads, and a little bok choi to sell at the farm stand. There are also little patches of scallions and carrots still out there, at the bottom of section 8, I believe. But overall you can count the crops still in the field: only 16 by my count! Of course, we still have winter squashes, sweet potatoes, garlic, shallots, and beets to deliver in storage.
Today, we harvested herbs and kale for wholesale (like always), carrots, lettuce mix and mustard greens, spinach, and popcorn. We shucked the popcorn and tied 3 ears together for a festive fall display. CSA members can hang the popcorn in their homes for decoration while it continues to dry. In a month or two, the ears can be shelled and there will be popcorn to eat!
Our last job today was stringing ristras. What are those? They are strings of very small, hot red peppers that are also used as decoration. Once they dry, they can be crushed and used as you would red pepper flakes, to spice things up a bit. Another great reminder of how the CSA share can be used throughout the year.
Let's hope the good weather holds out! Only 10 more days to go!