Week 20, Terembry Farm: first frost, last deliveries, and a Mini Cooper full of pumpkins

A busy week!  On the way home from the Fredericksburg delivery on Thursday, I hit a pothole and bent a rim on the jeep and it’s getting repaired today.  So last night I drove my mini cooper to Evergreen Farm (near Nokesville, about 10 miles away) to pick up the organic tomatoes and organic New England pie pumpkins that will be part of the last week’s delivery.

Each Friday for the last several weeks, this has been a ritual, and it’s been a pleasure to talk with Jim about farming with organic practices:   tillage (too much roto-tilling destroys soil fertility), determinant tomatoes, the problems of growing heirlooms, infrastructure for irrigation.  And, of course, we had fun loading 90 pumpkins into the Mini for today’s delivery!

Jim’s farm provides certified organic tomatoes and pie pumpkins for places like Whole Foods and Wegman’s—he’s a lot bigger than we are and has been around for quite some time.  I am grateful for what I’ve learned in our talks—and I’ve also learned this season that those practicing organic production are very supportive of each other.

95% of our seed stock came from High Mowing Seeds in Vermont which sells certified organic seeds—and they were extremely helpful with guidance.  They were the source of the all blue potatoes (we’re planning to plant more of those next year!), for example.

Early in the season we purchased certified organic herb plants from Shenandoah Growers—who usually don’t sell to a small start up like Terembry.  Shenandoah is a large greenhouse operation in the valley; its owner received recognition earlier this year for one of the fastest growing greenhouse operations nationally.  Our basil, parsley, rosemary—all of the herbs have been predominately from their plants that we transplanted into the garden here so that we would have enough to serve the CSA.

Shenandoah were extremely helpful—gave us an incredible price on the plants—and again, I drove the Mini over to the valley because of its excellent gas mileage.   Always fun to see the looks and then the amazement of how much can fit into the cooper!

Last night was our first frost.  It wasn’t a hard or “killing” frost—the beans survived just fine, but I did come home last night after picking up the pumpkins, to cover up about 80 feet of herbs that will be harvested this week for the last shares and I’m glad I did, because the thermometer showed a chilly 30 degrees at 5 a.m.

Tomorrow I’ll have the jeep repaired and loaded with the final shares:  pumpkins, tomatoes (red and green), acorn squash, herbs, jalapenos, bananas, bells peppers.  Some have asked for green tomatoes (I love them too, in relish, and simply fried), and we have  a box ready.

I’ve enjoyed the circuit drive in DC, and the weekly tour of neighborhoods, from Takoma to Mt. Pleasant, to Capitol Hill, and then Arlington. More important, I’ve enjoyed meeting all the members of the CSA, and all the conversations this year.

We’re planning for next season, realizing that while some things went well, we need to improve in other areas.  With this gas and charcoal grill, there is often a knob for adjusting the flame. A survey will go out asking for input, along with information about sending in recipes for the cookbook we’ll work on during October and November, with plans to have it ready for December!

All of the members will receive a PDF copy as per our original agreement, with full shares getting print versions.  And we’re looking for recipes!  Members will get credit for every item submitted.  We want to highlight our season, from cabbage to squash, to Scarlet Nantes carrots, to the High Mowing Seed mixed lettuce mix that held on so well through the hot weather.  And of course, the peppers!

So please let us know your thoughts in the survey, and also we would love recipes.  Thanks to all of you and to all of our members who have been so supportive through this season.

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