We had our first killing frost this past week with lows of 32 and 29 consecutively. While these temps aren’t usually considered “killing” frosts, the quick drop and the length of time the mercury stayed down really did some damage. We had prepared for the frost with all of our sensitive crops, pulling celeriac and sweet potatoes out of harms way. We had even covered some of the young lettuces you will be seeing in the next couple weeks just to protect them from the light frosts we see at this time of year -thankfully they fared very well. We were surprised however to lose the chard to the frost. This usually hardy green is know for surviving in the field all the way through late November but the rapid and prolonged temp changes we saw this past week were too much for it and we lost several hundred row feet. The upic field was another victim and the few flowers and herbs out there were done in by the cold.
The silver lining of frost is that almost everything coming out of the fields from here on out gets sweeter. Kale, cabbage, turnips, and carrots will all have sweeter taste from here on out. The science behind this is phenomena is based in the plants reaction to temps below 32 degrees. As plants make sugar through photosynthesis they store that sugar in their cells as starch. When the weather gets cold the plants react by breaking down their stored energy and converting it into sugars like glucose and fructose. The sugar is stored in their cells and, like salt on the roads in winter, lowers the freezing point of the cells, thus protecting the plant from freezing. The benefit for all of us is a sweeter vegetable. The one thing that will generally not improve in this weather is lettuce. It gets a bit tougher and doesn’t seem to sweeten…here’s to strong vinaigrettes!
As the farm winds down this season we also are starting the process of building the season to come. Field plans, financial plans, hiring, ordering, etc, etc, all start up and start to weave together into the picture that will make 2012. Integral to this process is attracting new members to the CSA. While we do our part by putting up brochures, maintaing the website, and trying to stay visible, its really your efforts on our behalf that brings new people to the farm. The conversations, meals and produce that all of you share with your friends, neighbors and co-workers are our marketing machine and we are forever grateful. In this vein we would like to ask any and all of you to write us your thoughts about what the farm means to you and or how this great adventure in eating has affected you and your family. We hope to post these testimonials on our website to help encourage other to “take the leap” with us next season.
Many of you have signed up for 2012 and we are so grateful. Thank you. Your support allows us to better plan for the coming season and also help us to relax a bit more this fall.
How Late will the CSA Go This Year?
We will be harvesting crops until the last full week of October (24th-28th) and may continue further but it looks like our greens supply will run out just about then. We were able to have a pre-thanksgiving distribution last year and we may be able to do that again this year but we won’t know for another week or so. Watch the newsletter for updates!
Organic Maine Cranberries
Sparrow Farm in Pittston is harvesting organic cranberries and we will be taking orders for 5 lb. bags this week for delivery next Friday (21st). These are great local berries that can go right in the freezer and pulled out cup by cup for thanksgiving and many scone, muffin, pancake and relish creations all winter long. Order five pound bags for $28 this week at pick-up or by email until Tuesday (18th) at noon.
Mac Apples and Cider!
More great fruit from Willow Pond Farm in Sabattus. Pick up your Macintosh apples & incredible cider.
Willow Pond Farm in Sabattus on Rt. 9, just off the turnpike is the place to pick apples this fall. This rolling farm has beautiful orchards and Jill shuttles everyone out to the trees on her horse-drawn wagon on Saturdays and Sundays. Here’s the link to their location Willow Pond.
Wolf Pine Winter CSA share Delivered Here!
Get the best Maine has to offer this winter by joining the Wolf Pine Winter CSA. Wolf Pine grows storage produce and buys from other great farmers to make up their winter CSA. The shares are boxed and delivered to Crystal Spring every three weeks November through May. Option for local meat and pantry shares available. Read more and sign up at Wolf Pine’s website.
What’s in Upic?
Pigs to watch…but nothing left to pick.
What’s in the share?
Our eco bags came in finally…don’t forget to bring some from home!