This Week at the Farm: Fall Veggies, Festival, Field Trips
It’s a lovely time of year here in the Upper Valley! Cool, foggy mornings give way to sunny and warmer afternoons (the rainy days are rather nice, too). Decorative pumpkins and gourds, mums, and asters surround the farmstand and café, reminding us to celebrate this beautiful and bountiful time of year.
As some of the summer veggies decline (this is the last weekend we’ll have tomatoes), some cool weather crops like spinach are back and the fall veggies are in—storage potatoes, celeriac, daikon and watermelon radishes, rutabaga, turnips, and tons of winter squash! Pie pumpkin is the “vegetable of the week” and 10% off through Monday, September 30. Practice making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, or make your pumpkin purée now to freeze for holiday pies.
Speaking of putting in the work now and reaping the benefits later…we have lots of bulbs for sale in the farmstand, and perennials are 35% off! Read to the bottom for tips on fall planting.
Our 17th Annual Pumpkin Festival is just over two weeks away! Join us on Sunday, October 13th from 10–3 for pumpkin picking, live music, great food, horse drawn wagon rides, activities for kids, and more!
Call for volunteers!
We love our volunteers! We could use a bit more help with the festival—Will you join us? Volunteers get great perks including free admission, free lunch, and a 20% off coupon to use at the farmstand (valid through the end of the year). Help for a few hours and spend the rest of the day enjoying the festival with friends and family!
From the Kitchen
We’re savoring the summer veggies in the kitchen! There’s fresh basil pesto and a variety of other sauces and dips. We also made “Cardinal Peppers”—beautiful, stuffed Carmen peppers—for the Friday Night Dinner CSA and made some extra to sell in the farmstand this week. And keep an eye out for family-sized jars of salsa!
Share the Harvest Day
We’re proud to be participating in Share the Harvest, NOFA Vermont’s annual fundraiser for the Vermont Farm Share Program. Shop here on October 3, 2019—we’re donating 5% of sales to this amazing program, which provides subsidized CSA shares for limited-income Vermont families, helping to make fresh, local food available to all.
The Value of Field Trips
Did you know that we host field trips throughout the year? Fall is the most popular time because the kids get to pick pumpkins, take a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch, and learn about the life cycle of plants. Field trips are a fun, effective way to support and enrich classroom curriculum, to create relevancy in a student’s world, and to allow them to create connections to the outside world.
Soil and Water
When you water plants or when it rains, the soil temporarily stores the water and makes it available to the plants and soil organisms. You can figure out how fast the water enters the soil by measuring the infiltration rate, or the number of minutes it takes the soil to absorb each inch of water.
Erosion can be caused by runoff on bare or poorly vegetated soil due to low infiltration rates. Nutrients, chemicals, and soil, are carried away, resulting in decreased soil productivity, diminished water quality, etc. To improve soil health and reduce the risk of erosion, you can increase the soil organic matter (plant residues and microorganisms) to make the soil more porous and improve its structure.
Gardening Tip: Watering Fall-Planted Perennials
Planting perennials in the fall allows the plant to focus its energy on establishing roots, rather than new growth as they would in the spring. After planting, make sure to give them a good, deep watering about once a week, right up until the ground freezes!
Bulbs planted in the fall are also perennials and should not be watered. You don’t want them to rot! For more great tips on fall planting for spring flowers, check out this article from UVM Extension.
Looks like it’s going to be a lovely weekend, filled with sunshine and warmth, with a few scattered storms to bring us cooler fall weather.
See you at the farm!
–From all of us
September 28: Norwich Farmers’ Market, 9–1.
September 29: Knife sharpening at the farmstand, 10–2.
October 1: Little Farmers drop-in class for children ages 2 to 5, 10–11 am.
October 2: Homeschool Farm Science, 1–3pm.
October 3: Share the Harvest — Support the Vermont Farm Share Program!
October 13: Pumpkin Festival, 10–3. [Volunteer]