Farm News- October 21, 2010

Circle Brook Farm
Circle Brook Farm

Hi Folks,

I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful fall weather. There is no rain in the forecast this week, at least for the moment. This is good news since the ground is quite saturated. In general this is not much of a problem, but I do have one field that stays wet and part of it is planted with turnips, radishes, and various mustards. We have tried to cultivate these crops several times during the past 2 weeks, but the tractor bogs down and sinks into the mud. All we can do is lift the implements and race for the edge, so we don’t get stuck in the mud! We also still have about half an acre of potatoes to dig which will be much easier if the ground has a chance to dry a bit. I have finished sowing seed for crops for this season, but there are many acres of field that need to be planted in cover crop. We sow winter rye and hairy vetch to improve the soils and protect them from erosion. The vetch is a legume which fixes nitrogen and improves the soil fertility.

We are still waiting for the next broccoli crop to do its thing, but we have begun cutting cauliflower. There won’t be enough for all groups this week, so some of you will get kale and should see the cauliflower next week. We will be sending sweet potatoes again this week, this time a white variety called a Jersey sweet. This type is a bit drier than the orange variety but quite delicious; I sampled them last night for dinner. We are in the process of trying to cure the sweet potato crop so that they will store better. This requires keeping them at a temperature of between 85 and 90 degrees for about a week. I have never been able to accomplish this in the past, but this year we have turned a recently constructed cooler into a hot box using some electric heaters. We have a tremendous crop of these scrumptious and nutritious tubers; now the trick will be to store them for distribution during the remainder of the season. We have also begun digging the parsnips, so they will make their first appearance in the root category in this week’s shares.

The share for this week will be:
Red or green leaf lettuce, choice of escarole or endive, parsnips, red onions, Jersey sweet potatoes, acorn squash, choice of spinach or Swiss chard, cauliflower or kale, bok choi (Napa cabbage for Downtown Harvest) and choice of an herb (mostly parsley). Also look for hot peppers, edamame and flageolet beans as extras.

Farmer John

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