It's now officially fall but the weather is feeling much more like summer! It's been a lovely week here with warm sunny days and cooler nights, which make field work a pleasure. In fact, we haven't had our first frost yet which is a bit unusual. But I'm not complaining: a few extra days of warmth keeps some vegetables producing!
Over the next 3 weeks we will be enjoying many of the classic fall vegetables with some absolutely lovely greens thrown in for contrast. The spinach in particular is delicious and beautiful. While winter squash is normally a reliable workhorse for our farm, we had a particularly bad winter squash crop this season. The poor crop seems to be a results of a variety of factors. I planted it too close to a large sugar maple tree, which it didn't like. And then we had heavy cucumber beetle pressure, which killed the already struggling vines. Our butternut squash did really well and the spaghetti and red kuri did OK. But the other varieties didn't produce. To compensate for this I have bought in some lovely organic winter squash from Reroot Organic Farm. So we will still have lots of squash to go around, just not all of it was grown on this farm.
I also made the decision this year to grow enough potatoes for early potatoes but to purchase fall potatoes from another farm. This saves my back from the pain of harvesting by hand and freed up my time and energy for other crops. For the last two weeks we will have lots of great organic potatoes from Zocalo Organics.
And on the final 'farmers trading vegetables' front, Salad Days Farm needed some storage onions, which we had extra, so later in the season we will be enjoying some carrots and salad mix from their organic farm. This is the first year I have used produce from other local farms but I think it's a really important part of the organic farming community. For every farmers that experiences a crop failure or other issue, there is another farmer who has a surplus that they don't want to go to waste. With the challenges of unpredictable weather and other vagaries of nature it's nice to know that there are other farmers that can help keep our share members' bellies full!