Well it’s about that time of year at our markets when the watermelon turn into pumpkins and one realizes their love affair with peaches may have been just a summer fling. The fields are mostly cleaned up and cover cropped. Its a good feeling to find the winter rye already sprouting in nice neat rows of new growth to blanket our beds over winter. We have a few beds we continue to harvest of heirloom and cherry tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, okra and lettuce, kale and chard. Broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower are about ready to be picked, but mostly we are concentrating on tying up loose ends which at the farm means trellising the berries, and erecting my “glamp” site (stay tuned). These are the jobs which kept getting shoved to the back burner in order to address more pressing, higher priority tasks or those of greater urgency. Now that most the work is behind us, it’s a good feeling to shift our focus toward the items which will give us a sense of completion and job well done. We even took a rainy Monday off to close the stands and get the staff together for a crab feast.
This past week we dug about one hundred 2 ft holes to place posts for the trellis system for our newly planted berry brambles. To do this we used a gas powered auger which resembles a large drill. The high-tech Swing-Arm Trellis system we invested in is a bit complicated to install and I find the crew reviewing the instructions with a puzzled expression I like to call “Ikea face”. The system itself shifts into several positions throughout the biennial cycle of the brambles. Once the framework is installed, plants are pruned, and attached to the horizontal wires for support. During the winter, they will be laid down over the ground and tucked in with frost blankets to protect them from a deep freeze. In spring they will be parallel to the ground, like a table, to encourage flowers to blossom on the top side. In summer they will be leaned up and slightly over, like a leaning fence, with the fruit on the shady northern side to avoid sun scorch which will be nice for the berries and very nice for the pickers. The raspberries plants have already begun to fruit. Not enough to justify harvesting but certainly enough to pick and pop in our mouths as we work down the rows.
For the past month I’ve been wanting to get the crew together for a crab feast at the farm. I thought Labor Day was the deadline but then started hearing how good the crabs are in September as they fatten up for winter. The intention was to “bookend” the season. We started with a farm tour and staff mixer back in May and thought this would be a great way to wrap it up. However, that was the one day it rained in as far back as I can remember (maybe a couple weeks). So we changed the venue to our packing barn which had all the amenities we needed: shelter, tables, chairs, refrigeration, water, dumpster, etc.. It worked out great and it was so nice to get everyone together outside of work and enjoy the evening. Have a great week everyone.