One of the many challenging things about farming is hurdling all of the obstacles Mother Nature throws our way. Recently this rain has been kicking our butts, and now she’s decided to throw in a frost or two. While an early light frost, like last night, doesn’t have too much effect on the remaining crops it can cause some discoloration in the butternut and spaghetti squashes and possibly cause them to spoil faster than normal. Other cole crops such as cabbage, acorn & buttercup squash and pumpkins will do OK until we start to have multiple frosts and lows in the 20’s. The rain, on the other hand, makes for a tough harvest – with stuck wagons (like the photo above) and muddy produce. It can take a good week of sunshine and some wind to dry out a field. If you are planning to attend the pumpkin pick this coming weekend, be sure to wear appropriate footwear!
To prepare for a CSA week, a typical squash harvest takes 20 crew members about 2 hours to pick 200 bushels (a wagonload). Once we get through this final push of getting everything in from the fields, the preparations for next year begin. No rest for the weary! Soil compaction becomes a big issue when we are harvesting when it is so wet. We cannot pick and choose when we will harvest, we harvest when it has to be done and we are creating soil compaction issues everywhere we drive. This has to be fixed sooner rather than later. As soon as it dries up, we will till our problem spots and get them seeded down into a cover crop to help build up soil fertility and get the fields back into growing shape. Cover crops will enhance the soil by building up organic matter and providing or preserving the nitrogen in the soil.
Several returning members have asked about receiving spruce tips in their final share box again this season. It is always a scramble to try and get spruce tips before the 1st of November and in prior years we have had a mixed reaction from our members. For both of these reasons we will not be providing spruce tips in the final share boxes this season. However, we will provide an offer exclusive to only our CSA members for discounts off our spruce tip workshop or a bundle of tips! The workshops are a ton of fun and are offered 3 times in November (click here for more details on the workshop). CSA members will receive 25% off their creations at any of the 3 spruce tip workshops or 50% off a bundle of tips (regular or large). Be sure to look for these great CSA exclusive coupons in the final CSA newsletter on October 24th.
Enjoy your farm share week!