Week #11 Tuesday, September 15 – Friday, September 18

In Your Bag
Yellow Potatoes,
Sugar Dumpling Winter Squash

Leeks, Onion (XL!) , Garlic
Carrots
(the sweet gems are just the right combo of sweet and carrot!) 
Romano Beans
Peppers – Green bells, Sweet Red and Yellow,
  Anaheims (these are the long green ones), 
  and   Jalapenos
Kalebration Kale Mix
Sage bunch
Tomatoes
Slicers & Salads, last of the season!

End of the Season Schedule
We have made a change in the schedule for the end of the season.  We had been planning to stretch our 14 week season out by shifting to an every other week schedule in October.  INSTEAD, we are planning to go 14 consecutive weeks this year.  Final deliveries will be Tuesday, October 6th and Friday, October 9th.  If you pick-up your vegetables every other week, you may end the week before that.  Monthly shares, look for an e-mail from Spring Hill with your final vegetable delivery dates for the season.   This change is NOT a change in the number of weeks or in the amount and variety of vegetables, simply a change in the schedule due to considerations around the pandemic.

Farm News
One of the first things we do each morning is check the weather, NOT BEFORE COFFEE THOUGH, NOTHING BEFORE COFFEE!)  We have several different sites we visit to see what nature has in the works, but the most frequent sites we use are NOAA, WeatherUndeground, and Paul Huttner’s weather blog on MPR. Collectively, these three sites give us a pretty good idea of what’s going on.  NOAA is the baseline.  We can count on NOAA to be quite accurate and we get the big picture in weather. Additionally, NOAA has more data, history and context than any other site.  WeatherUndeground is where we go when we want an hourly view.  So, if NOAA tells us we have a 70% chance of rain, WeatherUnderground will tell us when and how much rain is coming, and finally Paul Huttner’s blog tells us how weird everything is getting. 

One of the things we have learned over time is that weather is everything for farming.  Every year we craft very detailed plans that outline planting dates, harvest dates, and expected yields. These plans serve merely as a roadmap—we may know where we want to go, but we have no idea what we might happen along the way.  We mentioned in an earlier note that the 15 inches of rain in July completely changed our planting schedule (and subsequent anticipated harvest dates)  For example, this is what we had planned for direct seeding during the first ten days of July : dill, Romano green beans, cilantro, Kale mix, amaranth, greens mix.  As you know, some of this we squeezed in later, and some not at all.  The Romano green beans were about two weeks late getting in the ground, but we did manage to sneak them in and they have been a delightful part of the last couple of deliveries!  We also managed to protect them from last week’s (way too early) frost and as a result got a couple of extra harvest for our efforts. Of all the different types of beans we grow, this is our favorite—fantastic flavor and not readily available in the marketplace.  For us, these have been a really delicious seasonal treat!  

We are watching this week’s weather with a sharp eye.  Even though last week’s frost did in the cucumbers, the melons and the field tomatoes, there are still a couple of vulnerable crops in the field, most importantly, winter squash.  Last week’s frost burned back most of the vines and the fruits are now exposed which means if it gets cold enough to frost again, the fruits could be damaged. We would like to see, however, the squash stay on the vine as long as possible to finish ripening . So, really, this week’s work will be determined by Thursday night’s low temp.  Right now, we are looking at 37—awfully close to freezing!  We will be watching the trend– does this projection start creeping up?  If so, maybe the squash can wait.  Does it move down?  Any colder and we will drop all other plans and harvest this year’s squash.  By the way, the first of this year’s squash is in the bag.  Sugar Dumpling is an early variety that requires no curing and can be eaten right away—we already sampled and it was delicious.  Enjoy!