This Week at the Farm: Hello Fall!
Today is the first official day of fall, and it actually feels like…fall!
Cooler temperatures, drier air, and changing leaves are all welcome after such a hot and muggy summer. We’re getting excited about bright fall colors, Pumpkin Festival, and all of the delicious cooking that goes along with the change in seasons.
From the field
With the beginning of fall comes the decline of late summer produce… peppers and tomatoes are beginning to wane and we’re picking the last of our corn this weekend (it’s the veg of the week and is 10% through Sunday, by the way). Get in your canning and preserving while you can – the transition to fall crops is upon us!
This week we harvested radishes (daikon, watermelon, black, and purple), Gilfeather turnips, and nearly every variety of winter squash that we grow. Acorn, buttercup, spaghetti, Red Kuri, carnival, delicata, and pie pumpkins are all in the farmstand already. Colder weather crops, including napa cabbage and kohlrabi, will be coming soon.
And for those of you who are ready to start decorating, the production crew harvested tons more ornamental pumpkins!
From the kitchen
Our kitchen crew is busy preserving, baking, and planning for the Friday Night Dinner Share. Cooler weather means we get to start using fall crops and making heartier meals. In the farmstand you’ll find:
- Stuffed tomatoes
- Potato cheddar bread
- 5 kinds of kraut (including the new “Nonamé” kraut made with carrot, scallions, and hot peppers)
- Chocolate beet teacakes
**The weekend of Pumpkin Festival (October 6-7), we will not have pastries. Our kitchen staff will be busy preparing all sorts of delicious mains, sides, and desserts for the festival.
Fall Baking Class
The focus of our upcoming fall Cooking for Middle Schoolers class is baking! To practice reading and following recipes, students will make seasonal sweet treats such as apple pie and scones. Students who are sensitive or allergic to gluten need not worry – all recipes have gluten free option!
Reflect on this past growing season and start planning for next year with the help of our educators! On September 29th, Lizzie and Eric will be teaching a class on home gardening, covering everything from infrastructure to design to soil health and crop rotation. The class will be geared toward your interests (veggies, flowers, herbs, or all of the above!). If you’ve had a garden before and are wondering how to make it better, they’ll help with troubleshooting, too.
Plant perennials now while the weather is cooler and the soil is still warm—this allows for faster root growth. We still have some perennials left at 50% off, so be sure to stop by if you’re looking for a deal. (Don’t wait too long – you want to make sure they have enough time to establish their roots.)
It’s almost time to start planting fall bulbs as well. A bit of work on a brisk autumn day will pay off in the spring, yielding exciting colors not long after the snow melts and the ground thaws.
Our R&D team built a Johnson-Su bioreactor composting system! It creates compost that improves soil health and plant growth by reintroducing beneficial microorganisms to the soil. It can also increase the amount of carbon drawn out of the atmosphere and into the soil. Once it’s set up, the pile doesn’t need to be turned and produces no odors; the end product should be ready to use in 9 months to a year (TBD how it will fare in a Vermont winter). We’re excited about this project and are looking forward to sharing more with you!
- Saturday, Sept. 22 – Little Farmers (10–11am, weekly)
- Sunday, Sept. 23 – Knife Sharpening (10am–2pm, weekly)
- Tuesday, Sept. 25 – Little Farmers (10–11am, weekly)
- Saturday, Sept. 29 – Home Gardening (2–3:30pm)
- Thursday, Oct. 4 – Free Farm Tour (5:15–6pm)
- Sunday, Oct. 7 – Pumpkin Festival (10am–3pm), Knife Sharpening (10am–2pm)
- Monday, Oct. 8 – Farmstand & Hello Cafe CLOSED
- Saturday, Oct. 13 – Backyard Chickens (2–3:30pm)