Friday, October 12, 2012

watch out for wooly bears!

Goodbye lovely summer weather! Hello gorgeous fall! It really looks and feels like fall right now, the table at market is full to the brim with leafy fennel, savory leeks, staple celeriac, potatoes, parsnips and all the grand tastes and textures that will take us through the fall and winter and right up to the new leafy greens of next spring! Here in our part of the world, we are eating right now much as localvores will eat for the next 5 months. Does it sound glum? It shouldn't- there are so many flavors, and shapes, and tastes to take us through the dark months ahead!

I know for some 9-5 working people where those work hours shape their days, the fall and winter can be sad or hard with interminable hours of darkness and the same work as the summer but no time for fun in the sun after the work day. But for farmers where the amount of light in a day shapes the work hours and jobs to be done, the fall is a glorious season! Days shorten, the work becomes less each day and there are so many hours left after dark for cooking decadent meals- roasting and souping and stewing and baking and then time left for reading, and talking, and planning for next year (not quite yet but soon). There are definitely emotional seasons to the farm year, and the calm easy pace of the fall and winter have a place that helps to stabilize the constant, crazy pace of the spring and summer. We are on the down slide into the sleepy winter and a definite sigh of contentment can be heard around here.

Not that there is nothing left to do, but the amount of work behind us so greatly eclipses the amount of work ahead that it seems just a trifle. One of the main task on our plate still is to plant next years garlic, we plant 10 one hundred foot long beds of garlic each fall and when the last clove is pushed into the soil, we know the season is about buttoned up. Want to help us cross of the last major to do on the list? Come on out on Saturday around 2 and we'll get a start on it!

The other main task is to harvest the fall storage crops once they are fully grown and endangered by very cold weather. It was so dry back when we planted them, that they didn't take off growing with great vigor, but instead just held on, until it started to rain and then things grew very well, but are not quite to the size we had hoped for. So now we do a dance- the fall and winter crops can take a freeze, and even quite a bit of cold weather, but we don't want them to lose their quality, yet we want to see them size up a little more before they are harvested and stored in the walk in cooler for the winter CSA. The time that we harvest them will be a blend of when we have time, when they seem full grown, and when the nights are going to get terribly cold. I imagine we will be harvesting them in a few weeks.

I would be remiss not to mention the fall and winter CSA, an email went out yesterday, but if you didn't get it, here are the basics. The CSA will run from November until February, you can choose 7 items each week, the cost is $306, no markets on November 23 and December 28, no pickup on January 25, but the market will be there. The pickup is in at Saint James Episcopal Church parish hall in Watkins Glen from 3-6 on Friday nights.

Hope you have a great week!
Liz and Matthew
ps wooly bears are crossing the country roads right now, watch out for wooly bears! 

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