The first light frost of the season arrived a night earlier than anticipated on Tuesday evening marking the unofficial end to our summer growing season. Coincidentally, this coming week marks our final farmer's market of the 2019 season and the end of our summer CSA, the official end to our third season of growing. We wearily stepped into this season after last year's drought, and although it was cold and wet to start - the opposite extreme of where we started 2018 - it worked out to be a bountiful year of growing and one in which we learned and grew not only a lot of food, but also as farmers. We had pests, diseases, and growing conditions that were unfamiliar to us as seasoned, high desert Colorado gardeners, but through much trial and error we meandered along, and now are hopefully that much better of growers.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the similarities between marathoning and completing a farm season. Following that analogy, we have now entered into the last mile of the race. The hard freeze is predicted to come in the middle of this week, and just when I think we can't take another step, we are sprinting to the finish. This past week's freeze was spotty and light, nipping our pepper plants and other plants at random; this coming week, temperatures are predicted to take a dive into the teens. This means that we'll be rushing to cover with fabric all of our field greens and hoophouse crops and to get our root crops in the field mulched in with straw. It will be a mad dash. On top of this, I am behind on seeding in our hoophouses which will likely mean a lapse in availability mid-winter, but it is good to remind yourself that you can only do your best :)
This week you will notice that we no longer have any summer crops available (peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, or eggplant). They were amazing while they were here, but, alas, we have bid our adieus for the season to these fresh summer flavors. Today, I started the ferment on the last of our season's hot peppers, I froze the last of our tomatoes, and am dehydrating hatch chilies that will make an incredible red chili sauce come mid-winter. The beans are drying in bins, the squash curing, the apricot trees are displaying their first yellowing leaves, and the sunflowers are all bowing down to the earth where they are dropping their seeds and will return again next year. The finish line is near.
With this, we wish you all a lovely week ahead. We thank you for what has been an incredible season of growing and producing. Just like our bodies, our minds have grown tired, but one thing remains clear as day - this farm and our community has brought us infinite amounts of joy and gratitude this season, and for this our hearts overflow. Thank you for being on this journey with us, and thank YOU for making local, seasonal foods a priority in your lives and for supporting our farm.
In gratitude, Melissa & Cale