If we only grew fruit here at Thiessen Farms, our harvest would be complete. The orchards are empty.
We might even be sitting with our feet up, relaxing.
But since we also grow vegetables, the harvest continues … Winter squash & pumpkins are replacing peaches & tomatoes on our tables at the farmers’ markets and in the CSA boxes. There are even new crops just beginning to produce – edamame, kohlrabi & cabbage, and if the nice fall weather lasts, maybe lettuce & Asian greens yet too.
Because the rabbits ate most of the edamame, there isn’t much of a crop this season – just a bit for the markets, not enough for CSA.
While we are weary from the long season, the vegetables are doing great! In fact, they don’t want to stop growing. Many of the crops we finished harvesting earlier, and mowed down, or even disced under are coming back – new life at the end of the growing season. It’s exciting to see!
It also makes a farmer wonder – all the effort we put into making the right conditions for optimal growth. Is it always necessary? Seeds & plants seem to just want to grow …
Tomatillo plants growing & producing fruit where we had them last year.
Asian greens from May, growing after being mowed down & the ground disced.
Lettuce coming back for another round after being cut at ground level.
The same with kale …
… and green beans.
The fava beans have reseeded themselves.
This is kale growing where we had it about 5 years ago. The spot has been planted to trees now, but still a few hardy kale plants come back each year.
Who knew that the artichokes would keep popping out the chokes?
And then bursting them into bloom!
I’m reminded of “The One Straw Revolution” an intriguing book by Masanobu Fukuoka, who spent 65 years developing a system of natural farming. “He did not plow his fields, used no agricultural chemicals or prepared fertilizers, did not flood his rice fields as farmers have done in Asia for centuries, and yet his yields equaled or surpassed the most productive farms in Japan”. (www.onestrawrevolution.net) Our vegetables are showing us that his methods may have some merit. I’ll have to reread the book again this winter…
What’s in the box?
Squash, sweet peppers, kale, Seckel pears, plums.
extras – hot peppers
- The squash has all been harvested now. This week the choices are Small Wonder spaghetti squash, which has flesh that comes out in strings like spaghetti, and Black Futsu, a delicious golden fleshed squash with hints of hazelnut.
- The warm fall weather of this past week has been great for keeping the sweet peppers going. They are continuing to ripen and taste great!
- Another bunch of kale is part of your CSA share this week. Use it in fresh in salads and smoothies, or stir fry or saute it, add it to soups, stews … Not only does it taste good, but it’s super healthy too!
- Seckel pears – those little, crunchy pears are back for an encore. Many of you have asked for them again in the box.
- The blue Italian plums are almost finished. This is probably the last week they will appear in your share. While most are eaten fresh, a CSA member suggested cutting them in half, sprinkling them with a bit of brown sugar and roasting them in the oven. Or how about plum butter? Here’s the link to this favourite recipe from another member – www.nutmegnanny.com/2011/08/24/spiced-plum-butter.
- More hot peppers are available to those who want them.
Next week will be the final week for CSA 2014.
Ollie already has his feet up and is relaxing – and trying to keep others from working too!