Friday, October 21, 2011

It's the end of the season as we know it.

See, I told you. At some point in the season, things just get too busy to take pictures. Or maybe I just need to get better at remembering to take pictures. Either way, here's a little jumble of everything you've missed in the last few months...

At some point we got the on-site farm stand going.  Armed with a fabulously rustic little stand built by Hugh Cummings of HughNameIt out of recycled pallets (I don't know if he knows it, but he's part of an eco-fashion-trend.  Check out this and that) I set about trying to hock veggies for dollars.  Some days were great: steady customers, good conversations, comfortable weather.  And then some days I stood shivering under a tent for the one person who decided to brave the weather.

We got all kinds at the stand, I loved that part of it.  I was most excited when a neighbor would walk out their front door and right on over to the stand to buy a few tomatoes or some salad for that night's dinner.  I had a regular neighbor/customer that would get one pound of a particular variety of green beans every time I had it because it was the only vegetable their daughters would gladly eat.  I had another set of neighbors that always wanted just cilantro and maybe a few hot peppers, but would all the same take a walk around the beds, and ask here and there what certain plants were.  It was awesome, and not even in a sarcastic way.  My own neighbors, on the block that I live in, would also stop by with some regularity and I am pretty sure I would see them more often at the stand than I did on  our own block!

 The north half of the farm in...September?  Maybe October?  Late season, anyways.  The broccoli in the foreground is coming along, the fall peas are trying really hard on the trellis, the radishes and mustard greens are hiding under their row cover blankets.  In the waaaaay back, the anise hyssop is probably being assaulted by hungry bees.

Fall at the farm has its really beautiful moments.  I think by September, despite the endless wet weather, the farm had really come into its own.  Maybe it was the fact that I was excited by little fat purple carrots (they were delicious, by the way), or maybe I was just thankful that the farm was still standing, but I swear on some mornings it was like walking into a little oasis.  Finally, it hit me that I had done it, the plants were doing their thing and in one year this space had transformed from mulch and haggard beds to a productive space that has been shown off to organizations like American Farmland Trust and has had games of tag played in it by laughing kids.  Both parties seem to approve.

So what now?  I've got a few "veggies in wintertime" experiments running at home.  The treviso radicchio you see to your right can apparently be cut down, dug up and "forced" like they do for Belgian endive.  The roots are hanging out in my fridge and in a few weeks I'll take them out stick them in the basement with a big box over them to block out any light.  The blanched shoots will hopefully appear a few weeks later. I'm also trying to over winter some lemongrass cuttings so that I don't have to spend another twenty dollars on them next year.  I've promised myself that I will start the trays of pea shoots, sunflower sprouts and microgreens for the Kingston Winter Farmers Market after I pen this blog post, so I had better get on it!  Have a tasty and happy Thanksgiving, and I will see you at the first market day: December 3rd, 10am, Old Dutch Church, Kingston, NY!

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