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CSA Newsletter ~ Week 28

Posted 10/23/2012 9:10am by Chris.

We're at the tail end of the outdoor growing season now with above average temperatures all this week. Then the bottom should fall out with highs in the 40's by the weekend, and what I call 'late fall' sets in (November). We'll be harvesting lots of carrots, turnips, radishes, beets, broccoli, kale, and cabbage until

spinach in the ground
Spinach in the frosty morning dew

they're out of the field or until it gets too cold and the crop freezes before it matures. Most things are looking great, especially carrots, turnips, and radishes. We planted our fall broccoli and cabbage a little later than we'd have liked, and the fall has been cool to average, so about half of those crops will likely not mature before the weather completely goes south. At least this week will be warm enough to size up a few

spinach harvest
Harvesting spinach with scissors

more heads. If we get lucky and don't get too cold

next week, we might get another warm stretch in early November and be able to harvest another round of broccoli.

 

We've been harvesting some outdoor spinach for this week's solo box. It grows very low to the ground so nearly always needs a wash before we pack it for you; that will be a cold task in the dead of winter, but the current sunshine and milder temps make it bearable now. The spinach harvest gave us an opportunity to put together a picture of what the winter share will look like.    

spinach washing outdoors.Kurt
Kurt washing spinach

We've been thinking a lot about our new winter share--what will be in it and what we'll pack it in. Because everything in the winter share, except spinach, is either a root crop, a jar of tomatoes, or a frozen package, it is denser and heavier and can be packed in a smaller box than the spring/summer/fall share. So, we'll pack the large, medium, and small shares in boxes we normally use for the medium, small, and solo shares, respectively.


The hardest thing for us to predict or have control over is how much spinach we'll have. Spinach never dies in the winter hoops, no matter how cold it gets. It can easily be too cold for it to grow, however, for periods of weeks at a time, so we need to be careful how many

Winter large share w.frozen squash
Large winter share with frozen squash

customers we take on and also make sure we have plenty of other things to fill the boxes and deliver the value you're paying for. 

 

We're trying to have fun with the whole thing. You may remember in a newsletter a few weeks ago me talking about how we're looking at the farm/CSA relationship. We're gardening for you and looking at the entire year as any experienced gardener would. When putting boxes

Medium winter share with radishes
Medium winter share with radishes

together this upcoming winter, we'll have an interesting assortment of crops to choose from including frozen strawberries, raspberries, and winter squash, our root crops featuring carrots, turnips and radishes and spinach, and whole roasted tomatoes. As stated, the majority of value will come from jarred tomatoes, spinach, and carrots-- three of our farm's most popular crops. We'll do our best to evenly spread around what's left.   


Chris Covelli
and the Tomato Mountain Farm Team 

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