The cool nights and the end of melons and sweetcorn–produce which particularly earmarks the height of summer–has reminded me that the advent of autumn is nearly upon us. In many ways this is my favorite time of year, when the mornings are cold enough to keep a hoodie on, and the heat of the day feels pleasant rather than overwhelming. The bounty of crops continues. Our melon season ends, and we are grateful for all of those stifling hot summer days which allowed for the abundance of ripe and sweet melons. After our last sweet corn harvest on Tuesday morning, we took down the raccoon fence which had so carefully protected our crop, and Ken bushhogged the tall and empty stalks. We now have fall bearing raspberries to enjoy, which are producing enough to be open for pick-your-own on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 11-7, during CSA pick-up hours only, please. The bright red and green zebra tomatoes in the hoophouse continue to grow and ripen, and the paste, heirloom, and sun-gold cherry tomatoes of the field each have a unique sweetness and flavor–as long as we can harvest them before the multifarious pests who also want their share. We hope you are enjoying making up your own boxes of tomatoes so that you can sample the many varieties our fields have to offer. Other delicacies of fall–winter squash, leeks, and potatoes–will soon be coming.
A few days of warm and dry weather allowed for us to bring in the last of the second-cut hay early this week. The barn is full almost to the ceiling, and we feel confident that the horses will have enough feed to last through the winter. Getting in the last of the hay and catching up on work in the garden now allows us enough extra time to begin construction on the new greenhouse. Today is the third day in a row where the OHF crew has been faithfully and mostly-joyfully sifting through the pile of dirty rocks to wash off pebbles and mud. We need enough rocks to fill in the space below the floor of the greenhouse 3-feet high. The rocks will provide mass to store heat, however we need them to be clean to allow for air to circulate between and around rocks. Dance music and stimulating conversation has helped us to keep our energy high during this somewhat arduous task. Plus, we are all thrilled to be able to be a part of this building project–both to learn about greenhouse design and to help Ken and Martha complete construction before the cold of winter hits.
Please note that the last CSA pick-up days for the season are Tuesday October 4th, and Saturday, October 8th. If you are a working share and have not yet participated in your 5-hours of work for the season, please sign-up on the calendar in the pick-up room. We have many slots open and always look forward to your help harvesting and washing vegetables.