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Sunday, September 25, 2016

September 27th and 29th

Preparing for Frost

Today it suddenly hit me....this is the last week of September!  I sort of feel like I am in a time warp. Usually by this time of year, most of my crops look tired and have grown to their full potential.  And when the first frost comes, I do not feel too bad letting them go.  but this year, with the cool start and dry season, many of my plants are 2-3 weeks behind and are still vibrant and full of life.  As we covered the pepper plants, I told them that I was sorry that they lived in a cold climate.  

This picture was taken after I reset the fabric on the plants and the wind pulled it off the tomatoes...again.  A painstaking task, covering plants, trying to eke out a few more days or weeks of growth. It always seems to be very windy just before a frost, making covering even more challenging. I'll just have to head out with my headlamp, after the wind dies down, to fix it one final time.  At least it's not raining or lightening, which has happened to me often enough in the past as well.

Carrots...still with their bright green tops, ready to grow.

Peppers and eggplants with happy leaves and tops loaded with flowers and baby fruit.

Today I finally caught up with my pile of "reject tomatoes" that has been stacking up in the barn over the past few weeks.  As we harvest, we set aside the fruit with spots, blemishes, splits etc...and these are what we use to fill our freezer and cupboards for our winter stock.  If any are too far gone, the pigs or the turkeys enjoy it.  I stacked nearly 16 gallons of tomatoes and peppers into my freezer. Then a friend came over, we put on our gloves, and made jalapeno poppers.  In fact they are in the oven right now and I can small them cooking.  Maybe I should check on them...done to perfection. Yum!  It's a game of roulette eating them, some are just a tad spicy and others are blow your head off!!!

While working on a farm in France a couple of years ago, I was introduced to Romanesco.  It's in the broccoli family, but closer related to cauliflower.  It is so crisp and sweet, I love to eat it raw.  It's kind of alien looking and the whole planting doesn't seem to be ripening all at once like the broccoli does, so look fir it trickling in with some cauliflower this fall.

Back to the Sandy field that I talked about last week....  It has a bit if a slant to it and the lower end is also in the shade a bit.  So naturally any water settled down hill and the shade kept it cooler and moister.  Although the entire crop had nice sized heads, this added moisture really shined in these heads, each a good 9" in diameter.  They came from the end plant in each of my 4 rows.  So a bit more water does make difference!

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, a bit o spinach, broccoli/romanesco/cauliflower, carrots, onion, tomato, pepper, hakurei turnip with greens, edemame soybeans, tat soi or maybe pac choi and basil?

The Farmer's Table:
Eggplant Parm
Jalepeno Poppers
Stuffed Peppers
Pasta with a huge amount of veggies
Loads of crudites with a homemade yogurt chipotle dip

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