Saturday, September 27, 2008

Peak Tomato

Tomatoes are on at their peak right now. We have about 300 lbs going to market today. Although this has been a difficult year to grow toms, it is turning out to be an outstanding season. Yields are about normal but the quality and flavor are the best I have seen in years. We're seeing lots of big guys ripening on the vine. There are a few standouts. Paul Robeson, Momotaro, Nayagou, Sioux and the Black Plums are especially tasty. So in the end patience pays off.
We have more nice weather on the way so I'm expecting another good harvest for next week but they won't last too much longer. The plants continue to look healthy though so we'll see. We could have tomatoes into November if the weather stays halfway decent.

Potatoes are coming on strong as well. We have Yukon Golds, German Butterballs, Austrian Crescent and Rose Fir Apple fingerlings. The're wonderful.

Broccoli and Bok choi are back on. Kale, cabage, turnips, beets, peppers and winter squash are all on in abundance too!

This is a great time of year. Most everything is at it's prime. So come on down to the market and stock up.

Good eating.

Farmer John

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Solstice Bounty

Despite the unusually cool summer, the harvest here is in full swing. Lots of tomatoes! Winter squash is in as well. A little earlier than normal and it is delicious. The potatoes are great right now too. My favorite is German Butterball. We're bringing in a few now with lots more to come in the following weeks. Basically, everything is on right now. I'll post some market pics in a couple of days.

Fall and overwintering crops are growing nicely with the favorable weather we've had. I'm looking forward to a busy fall, winter and spring harvest.

This is my favorite season. The eating is real good right now and life is easy.


Farmer John

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shooting for 100

Here at home and two of our three satelite farms, we are 100% planted out. That is a rarity. Normally we would have some ground laying fallow, in cover crop or otherwise waiting to be prepped and planted. However with this years unusual weather condidtions we are resorting to unusual techniques. We are still planting many crops for fall and overwintering. Salad greens of mostly an Asian mix like tat-tsoi, mizuna, arugula, komatsuna and mustards as well as lettuce. We've been transplanting assorted kales, chards, napa cabbage, bok choi and lettuce. Today I'll be working up the last available space we have to make room for for one more round of transplants and direct sowing.

Also putting in root crops like beets, carrots, onions, turnips an radishes. It's getting late to plant some of this for fall harvest but who knows. If we get a nice long fall and Indian summer we'll get something. If not, hopefully these will overwinter for an early spring harvest. Regardless of my implanted knowledge, (pun not intended) I'm forging ahead as quickly as possible to get as much in the ground as I can before the season closes out. We sell alot of produce in the fall and since we have markets scheduled all the way into November, we need to have as much produce available as possible. We see how we do.

Currently the highlight crop is strawberries. We harvested fourteen flats yesterday and we'll have that much again on friday. They are gorgeous! This is the best time of year for them and the weather has been perfect. We'll continue until first frost.

For such a cool summer I'm thankful to see a decent tomato harvest coming on. We are actually harvesting outdoor toms, something I thought we might not see at all. The late August rain was beneficial and we have not had blight issues as one might expect with the cool/damp condidtions. The big producers are Stupice and Paul Robeson. Ironically, cherry toms have been very slow this year.

The broccoli coming in right now is stunning as well and the kale is exceptionally delicious, especially for this time of year. It's normally not tasty like it is now until it's been hit with a few frosts. In particular the Cavalo Nero is phenominal.

We've been bringing in some potatoes. Our main crop has just completed flowering and will be ready in a month or so. Tuber production seems a little low to me but hopefully they'll bulk up nicely in the coming weeks. Potatoes are a big crop for us so I'm hoping for a good harvest to carry us through the winter.

All in all, most everything is looking great. Despite the weather challenges, our crops are the healthiest I've ever seen. So things are behind where they normally are but these days nothing seems normal so hopefully we'll come out in the end looking good.

Keep well my friends and look forward to some great fall produce!

Farmer John