Saturday, August 27, 2011

Preparing for Hurricane Irene

Our barnyard is all cleaned up.
We are prepared for the storm!!

In the last couple of days we have been buttoning down the hatches at the farm, preparing for high winds and a lot of rain. We have stabilized the end-walls of our high tunnel and tightly closed our greenhouses. High winds can be quite a threat for even the strongest of greenhouse plastics. We have also been cleaning up around the greenhouses and barnyard so there is nothing that can blow into buildings and cause damage. We moved our chickens to higher ground so there will be no risk of them getting flooded out. Our tractors will also be moved into the barns.

Our greenhouses are all closed up.

Structurally, we are prepared as we can be! However, unpredictable weather is a threat for all vegetable farmers and there is no way to know how it will impact our crops and their yields. We are keeping our fingers crossed that things go smoothly for us and all other farmers up and down the East Coast!

Stay safe!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fantastic-Looking Fall Crops

Beautiful butternut squash!
This is the time of year when we begin thinking about the fall and the harvest it brings. We have a lot of warm weather and daylight left to enjoy but we want to all of our cool weather crops to be really healthy and growing and maturing vigorously so we can have an abundant fall. We focus on our storage crops this time of year so that we can give them the attention they need before the cold weather sets in.

We planted one of our unheated tunnels with chard on Tuesday. Our chard always gets so big and beautiful growing in our tunnels. Look forward to some amazing greens this fall!

Good News: Our fall and storage crops look fantastic!! Our winter squash looks beautiful and is maturing well, our fall brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, etc.) are healthy and weed-free, we have tons of beets and carrots sizing up, the celeriac just got lots of weeding attention and our brussel sprouts are looking huge! Makes my mouth water just thinking about all of the delicious fall food.

Chard after planting in the tunnel.
This also makes me think: YOU GOTTA SIGN UP FOR OUR WINTER CSA! With all of these wonderful storage crops, how can you not? Really! Check our our website for more details about the awesome Winter CSA!

Oh...but we still do want this summer weather. No cold nights yet!
Look at our brassicas!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Onion Harvest

Ariel clipping greens off onions in the field.
We harvested the majority of our onions this week. The beautiful weather was ideal because it is important to harvest onions when it is warm and dry to promote the best curing conditions. Onions need to be cured in a warm, dry and well ventilated environment in order for them to last throughout the winter. Now we have them stored in large wooden drying racks in the loft of our barn with a big fan blowing air on them.

We grow many different varieties of yellow, white and red onions as well as two different varieties of shallots. We love to have many different kinds of onions to add flavor to fall and winter meals. Our onions look beautiful this year. We worked really hard to keep the onion field weed-free and, by the size of the onions that we harvested, it looks like that work is paying off.

Enjoy our onions!

Loading onion racks in the field with the tractor.

Our onions drying in the loft of the barn.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tomatoes, tomatoes...

We harvested so many beautiful tomatoes yesterday from our high tunnel! The plants are producing really well and the tomatoes look wonderful and taste even better. In addition, we have a large field of tomatoes from which we harvested the day before. And, in case these weren't enough, we have a newer succession of heirloom tomatoes coming in at our Augenstein field. These plants look particularly verdant and happy. We are also still harvesting perfect red tomatoes from our greenhouse, though these plants are beginning to slow down. They have been so productive! So, this is the time of year when all we talk about is... tomatoes!

We grow many different varieties of this tasty fruit: red, gold, yellow, and purple cherries, romas, traditional reds, and many different kinds of heirlooms including Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Striped German, and Green Zebra. It is a wonderful time of year to buy a variety of different types of tomatoes for a multi-colored tomato salad!

If any of you have ever picked large quantities of tomatoes, you will understand the tomato resin that accumulates on your hand. After picking tomatoes, your hand turns almost black. When you go to wash up, that resin turns a bright neon yellow/green as it mixes with water and goes down the drain. It is a little freaky!

We hope we can tempt you to indulge in our tomatoes!