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Monday, September 22, 2014

After the Frost

Last Saturday morning, on my ride up to the barn- eggs on toast balanced precariously in the basket of my bike, coffee spilling everywhere in my left hand-I saw the inevitable, unmistakable evidence of our first frost.  The temperature had dipped to just below thirty degrees in the fields in the early, early morning of the 20th of September.  The tomato plants, already on their descent from beauty, were pushed over the edge of brown into very brown.  The glowing green vines of sweet potatoes melted into each other and appeared black between rows of light green lettuce and bright green cover crops.  When we attempted to harvest squash that morning, the fruits themselves where translucent and frost injured…making me realize that we have never had summer squash this late into the season!  And the beans! Oh the beans! Our late pick your-own-crop to make up for weedy summer crops perished overnight! 
chard. before the frost.

At the end of the day, I strolled the fields with paper and pen to assess what crops remained for this last part of our summer farm share season and what we’ll have for our winter shares.  The first frost is a reminder to me not only to hurry up and harvest whatever summer crops I want to squeeze out of the fields, but it is the sort of like seeing the crossing guard holding a giant stop sign in my face.  Stop planting, meryl.  What’s in these fields is what you have.  Aside from filling the greenhouse or hoop house with winter greens, the field plantings have to stop.  The days are getting shorter, the soil is getting colder.  What’s planted is what we have.  

So I make a long list, filled with sweet potatoes, potatoes, turnips, onions, garlic, radishes, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.  I make plans for our crew of what to pick and where to store it.  We transition from being growers to being pickers, sorters and cleaners.  I start to see every nook of the farm as a possible place to store vegetables.  I think about quantities to give out, things to hold for our winter markets, and summer crops to open to the gleaners of the world.  I think about all the corn I wish I had frozen and all the tomato sauce that I could still make if I went to collect fallen fruit later today.  I think about all the sauerkraut I hope to ferment in my new ceramic crock.  I realize it’s really fall.

onions to be cleaned and sorted
Fall on the farm.  Long underwear and hats for cool harvest mornings.   Slow, cold, hands trying to bunch kale as fast as they did in the summer months.  Extra cups of coffee.  Donuts, lots of donuts.  Hours and days and weeks of harvesting the same crops of carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes.  Pulling up tomato stakes and twine and plastic mulch and reminiscing about summer that was only a few weeks before.  Planning for next season.  In fall I think about all the things I want to do better, do differently, and do more creatively.  In fall, I’m already scheming for next season.   In fall I am closer to more than one day off in a row.  In fall I start to see my friends off the farm.  In fall I realize that what we planted is what we have.  And what we have will be delicious.

Welcome to fall at Powisset Farm.

See you in the fields (I’ll be wearing a winter hat from now on),

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew

what a beautiful crew of onion harvesters!

What’s in the share:

Full: lettuce, kale, choice of other green, leeks or onions, carrots & beets, potatoes, tomatoes (we think), purple top turnips, maybe the last of peppers & eggplants

Small: lettuce, choice of greens, leeks or onions, carrots & beets & turnips, potatoes, tomatoes (we think), maybe the last of the peppers & eggplants

PYO:  hopefully raspberries & husk cherries, flowers

Hello Again from the Powisset Farm Kitchen!
(This time with the correct web links)

We are grateful that so many of your have inquired about using the Farm Kitchen for so many different cooking and food related projects!  Whether you want to try a new recipe, bake large quantities of food, we are excited to offer our Farm Kitchen as a community resource! Please join us for “Kitchen Improv” at Powisset Farm. During the hours of our remaining CSA pick-up times we welcome you to use the kitchen for any kind of food production as long as you are not intending to sell what you’re making (we do not yet have the proper licenses to make this happen and we hope to offer this as an option sooner than later). Please fill out the doodle poll  to secure your time slot and then email Rachel with what you intend to make/prepare. We look forward to seeing you in the Farm Kitchen! **requests for use of "kitchen improv" time must be approved by farm staff**

Today’s Powisset Cooks Workshop!
Tuesday, September 23 | 5:30-7:30PM
From the Fields: Herb Breads and Tasty Herb Dipping Sauces

Herbs are one of the many unsung culinary heroes; when used well, herbs can add so much depth and flavor to a dish. Join Powisset Cooks! in the field for a short harvest followed by an exciting hands-on exploration in the kitchen with our Culinary Educator. You will learn new and easy ways to infuse herbs into breads, sauces and more.

Contact Rachel for more information


The pie bakers at Bushel + Crumb are at it again. This week they are heralding fall with what sounds like a winning savory pie: a buttery crust filled with layers of butternut squash, onions, apple, gouda and cheddar with rosemary and thyme. As usual, we'll have a small number up at the stand, starting Thursday. This is their last savory pie of the season!

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