The waning of the light…

There is so much happening right now. Last week’s share was the biggest yet of the season and this week’s will be even bigger. We have reached “peak veg.”. Thankfully the connotation is altogether different from peak oil. The diversity and volume of crops we are harvesting are a bit hard to fathom, even for us. Yesterday the trucks went to the fields four times to harvest tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and carrots. Today we will make at least that many trips for watermelon, cantaloupe, lettuce, broccoli, chard, cukes, asian greens, arugula and spinach.

In all of the busyness and wonder of summer most of us don’t want to think about the rapid approach of winter.  For those of us up before 6 am it is heavily on our minds as the light is changing very quickly. The shortening days tend to become a topic of conversation come late September and October when the weather cools down. But over the next month we will go from our glorious 14 hour Maine summer days to equinox, where the days are but 12 hours. This change is vital for every single crop we have planted (and many crops we haven’t planted i.e. weeds). All plants, but especially annuals (which is what we grow here) are in a rush towards reproduction. From the moment the first leaves poke up above the soil, these plants are trying to gather sunlight and strengthen themselves to make fruit and finally seed. When the days shorten the crops ( and weeds) speed up this process and start to reproduce faster. For us farmers that means we need to be ready to harvest on  an almost daily basis and many crops that we would be able to harvest several times in the spring or summer are limited to just one cutting. The lighter greens are especially prone to “going to seed” this time of year. Crops like arugula, spinach, tatsoi or chicories, that we would usually expect to cut twice we can generally get only one cutting from (or if we miss the window of a day or two, not cuttings at all). The weeds this time of year are also keenly aware of the change and start to make seed when they are 3 to 4 inches high instead of 10 to 14 inches in the summer months, leaving less time for us to catch up with them!

Our last greens crops of the year will be planted this week and next week in the high tunnel. Spinach, lettuce mix and lettuce heads will thrive under the few extra degrees of warmth the tunnels will provide.  The farmers will thrive harvesting in a warm, dry tunnel come October too! We also are sowing fall grain crops into the field to protect them for the winter these next couple weeks. The window is very small to get them established before the days get too short for the plants to grow above a few inches. winter rye sown this week will grow to 12-16 inches by early December as compaired to rye sown the second week of September that will be lucky to grow to a short 6 inches by the same date.

Labor on Labor Day

Mark your calendars for our annual csa potato harvest. Join the farmers in the field on Monday, September 5th at 9am. In years past this has been our biggest (and best) event for CSA members to get out into the fields and harvest. Kids and adults alike love picking into bins potatoes that our digger has unearthed. Last year we brought in over 10,000 pounds of spuds in just 2 hours! Joins us in the first field on the left as you are coming from town…More about this in coming newsletters.

Canning Tomatoes for Sale

We have flats of “imperfect” slicing tomatoes from the fields for sale this week at $7.50 for a 10lb. flat ($.75/lb) for those of you who would like to start canning or freezing. We also have a trial crop of sauce/roma tomatoes for sale at $17.50 for a 14lb flat ($1.25/lb.). The canning/roma toms are low moisture/concentrated flavor and take less time to prep and sauce than the slicing varieties. We also have a few cases of wide mouth quart canning jars for sale at $14/case. Want to can or freeze for the first time here’s our favorite how-to site http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/

Crystal Spring Pork

We have our own pork sausage for sale this starting this week. Look for breakfast sausage and chops in the freezer.

Blueberries…

Blueberries are here this tuesday (today) for those that pre-ordered. We will taking orders for delivery next Tuesday (not friday) as well. If you are interested talk to us at pick-up.

What’s in Upic

Beans (2 healthy plantings)

Dill heads

Basil

Sage

Thyme

Flowers

What’s in the share

Lettuce

Broccoli

Cukes

Carrots

Eggplant

Tomatoes

Peppers

Melon

Watermelon

Spinach

Chard

Baby Bok Choi

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