As I laid in bed last night, you could hear and feel the fall season blowing in. I realized as my squirrel-ly brain was reviewing my day that I left the gate open last evening as I did my golden hour field walk. Knowing how many deer I've been seeing in our backyard eating the remnants of this season's stellar apricot crop, I begrudgingly got myself out of bed and went to the field. The half-full moonlit sky was stunning, and I could feel and vaguely make out the shadow of the Mesa. The breeze was cooling, and now today the soft rains have settled in, dampening our field for the first time in weeks. Welcome Autumn.
The field is taking on a fall look. Some of the plants are looking a bit beaten, others downright ragged, while slight yellowing is showing up in other crops telling the story of a long, dry, hot August. While the warm weather crops are still prolific in their production, this past week's harvest was lighter than the last and undoubtedly this next week's harvest will be down even more. With other crops, we are preparing to start harvesting. One of our victories of the season was seed saving heirloom corn and beans from last year and seeing their success in the field this season. They say that seed saving allows a crop to adapt to your specific "terroir" - your climate, environment, geography, soils - in one word, your "place", and this was evident in seeing how quickly these seeds germinated and just how healthy they were in the field. The Painted Mountain corn is now drying on the stalks in the field, and I noticed last night when I peeled back one of the ears that the Oaxacan Green corn kernels are changing from their pale yellow to opaque green as is typical as they begin to finish their maturing process. The Ojo de Tigre, Cannellini, Black Valentine, Anasazi, and Calypso beans are drying in their crunchy dust-colored pods on their dying Mother plants, and the onions are starting to fall down, signifying that they are ready for curing. Another triumph of our season was finally getting an end-of-season cover crop in the ground. With our farm being as compact as it is, it has made managing crop rotation and timing difficult in terms of getting the cover crop in with enough time for it to germinate and get going before the freeze arrives. This year though, select beds have a lovely carpet of peas and oats that will enrich and protect our soils through the (hopefully) wet winter.
While last week we could take a bit of a breather, we will hit this final stretch here until the dreaded first freeze arrives with our nose to the ground and working hard - tilling in and pulling plants, seeding the hoophouse with fall crops, weeding and tending to beds of fall greens in the field, doing massive storage crop harvests, etc. An exhausting but absolutely brilliant time of year. It's incredible to see the bounty that this area can provide. I found myself getting just very basic staples at the grocery store this week as we have amazing apples from Wag's World on our counter, a gorgeous whole wheat sourdough loaf of bread from Blue Grouse Bread in Norwood that I had for breakfast, and our dinner plates have been graced with cheeses from Grand Mesa Creamery. All of our talented farmer and producer friends at farmer's market are, too, celebrating an amazing season of abundance and deliciousness. My cup runneth over.
We continue to have what I think are spectacular tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and beans. New this week, we have summer squash available. It is sold by the pound and will be a mix of smaller Costata Romanesca (zucchini), yellow squash, and pattypan. The carrots are beautiful, and this week we also have a new bed of hakurei turnips and radishes available and just-dug fingerling potatoes that are exquisite. The first succession of spinach is looking beautiful and is only 2-3 weeks away from harvest. We also have spicy greens and arugula on their way - not to mention more salad greens!
With our more extensive product availability this time of year, make sure and press "load more" at the bottom of the online market screen as all products do not fit onto one page at this time.
With this, we wish you all a lovely week ahead. Enjoy the cool, damp weather. Breathe deeply, rehydrate, and take some time to enjoy fall's arrival. Thank you for your tremendous support of our farm and local, organic agriculture.