Yesterday’s Saturday delivery was #19; we have only one more Saturday to go. What a cold and rainy day! We’ll finish up with the Tuesday and Thursday deliveries on the 16 and 18th! Thanks to the CSA member in Arlington who brought me a jar of pickled jalapenos—I am very grateful for her thoughtfulness.
All members should remember that we’re working on a cookbook featuring items from this year’s garden. Peppers, especially jalapenos, will play a prominent role! (Think top ten ways to use a jalapeno.) We’ll be sending out more info in email and also asking for recipes—everyone who contributes will get credit.
While the CSA is winding down, work on the farm continues—it’s simply different, with the seasons but the work doesn’t stop. This year’s frost date should be around October 10 but last year we didn’t have frost until Halloween, and I’m betting that will be the case for this year, too.
The herbs and winter greens are loving the cooler weather, and since we avoided frost last night, will be around for a bit more.
We’re picking all the peppers and are also harvesting pecans, hickory nuts and black walnuts. Walnuts will be laid out to dry before being taken to the Farm Co-op in Culpeper which there is a processor (cracking black walnuts by hand requires a heavy mallet!) It’s always a race with the squirrels to get this done, and it’s another hand-consuming task.
We still have some French Haricot Verts on the vines but getting them picked! Everyone who works here has said, “These beans are too small; they’re not ready!” But this small French bean has been ready. The Tavera Green plants are loaded but since the beans are are so petite, the farm team finds picking them challenging. I certainly have worked on these as we are getting about 4 gallons of beans per row. But because we’re a bit behind on picking them, I have to cull with care.
The sunset yesterday was a deep glowing red; as the sun faded behind the silhouette of trees, one could feel the onset of winter. And winter preparation tasks abound: filling the chicken house with straw bedding, enough to create a winter pack – about a foot deep of straw that will get packed down; taking the weeds piled in the compost bin to be burned—we’ll till the ash into the soil for potash; winterizing the equipment and doing one more mowing after all the nuts have been picked. There will be one more tilling of the soil, preparing the beds for next year. It’s also time to plant cover crops.
Farms are labor intensive and seasonal tasks must be done regardless of weather. It gets cold and rainy but the chickens still have to be fed and watered.
We’re thinking about next year and making plans—more to come.