2020 CSA Newsletter #16

Ok, so watching a Presidential debate and trying to get work done are not a good combo.

Well, I was thinking over the weekend about how we are still in a drought, even as fall begins. I think today was the first day all season that I was wearing my rain gear for most of the day while harvesting. It was a nice soaking rain but I was somewhat shocked to see how dry it was in some areas. I needed to harvest some more potatoes late this afternoon and even though the soil was thoroughly saturated, the soil was pretty dry in the potato trenches. It’s been a strange season, to say the least.

After assessing the farm after our first frosts of the season, we focused our work last week on the tomatoes in the hoophouses. We usually begin “topping” the plants in October but because there was some damage to the beefsteak and cherry plants I decided to get a jump on that project. Since a tomato plant has a limited amount of energy for root, foliar and fruit production, we cut of the tops of the plants to stop the growth of the plants. This signals to the plants that they should put their remaining energy in ripening the fruit. Doing it a little earlier than usual will be a good test to see if most of the fruit ripens before the end of the CSA season.

As we begin the home stretch of the CSA season, some crops are beginning to slow down significantly. The heirloom tomatoes are still producing but are definitely dwindling. This will also be the last week for basil. I was hopeful that giving it a week’s rest would help it rebound but that was not the case. Most of the plants have flowered and some have succumbed to disease. It was a good run for the basil this year. The shishito peppers have slowed, as well but should be around for another week or so. There are some new goodies this week. My favorite winter squash is in the share. To prepare delicata squash, we just halve it and scoop out the seeds. Add a little butter and maple syrup and bake for about 30 minutes. It’s such a nice treat as the weather begins to get cooler. The arugula this week is beautiful. Next week it will be a bit bigger but it’s a perfect size for a salad with a little shaved parmesan cheese, walnuts and balsamic. The bit of warmth we had last week helped out both the sweet bell and frying peppers. I was actually a bit surprised at how many were harvested.

Have a great week!