Farm News- November 4, 2010

Hi Folks,

It’s been a very warm fall up to now, but now it would seem we are quickly entering winter. We have had lows in the upper 20’s these past few nights and today they are predicting lows in the lower 20’s for Tuesday night. We are scrambling to harvest or cover anything that might be damaged by these frigid temperatures. Most of what is left in the fields is very hardy and can survive quite cold temperatures, but in some cases the edible part of the plant can be damaged. This is the case with cauliflower — the plant will survive, but if the head has started to form, it can freeze and be ruined. Similarly root crops like radishes and turnips have leaves that can withstand the cold but if the roots project too far above the surface they can freeze and, after thawing, become spongy. Today, Monday, we harvested about 800 lbs. of daikon which had pushed itself several inches out of the ground. We also began raking soil over the roots of turnips and radishes to protect them. Tomorrow we will be continuing this task as well as covering some crops with a white agfabric that affords several degrees of frost protection. Hopefully once we get through the next couple of nights we will have a few weeks of more moderate lows.

Last week we began cutting quite a bit of cauliflower, some of which ended up in the shares for the Thursday groups. This week we will have cauliflower for all other groups and broccoli for those who pick up on Thursday. Next week we should have broccoli for everyone. We will be sending the daikon with leaves attached as they are quite palatable — good in soups or stir fries.We will have sweet potatoes again this week, this time a variety known as Japanese, which have bright red skin and a yellowish flesh. They are quite delicious but were not as productive as the other varieties, so there will be a slightly smaller quantity to disperse. We are out of herbs for the time being, having overcut the parsley. We are waiting for a planting of cilantro, chervil, and dill to be large enough to harvest.

The share for this week will be:
Boston or green leaf lettuce, beets, daikon, choice of spinach or Swiss chard, Japanese sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower (broccoli for Thursday groups), shallots, and choice of arugula or tatsoi.

Farmer John

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