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Box 17, September 15th, 2011

Posted 9/21/2011 10:01pm by Andy Watson.

Well, when we typed this, a frost on Thursday was in the forecast. We harvested what we could, covered what we couldn’t harvest, said goodbye to some things(like zucchini), and crossed our fingers that it was more patchy and not a full on “good morning, I’m frost, you’re a tomato? Now you’re dead” type of frost. We don’t mind the latter in late September and October, but the 15th of September? Come on Mother Nature, wasn’t a late frost good enough for you this spring? Oh, I can do it all again next year? Ok, that makes it all better. Ok, now I’m talking to myself. I’m done.

            The good news is, we have some warm weather next week, the salad mixes are coming along great. The spinach is putting on its first leaves, radishes are looking good, and the other fall greens are also looking great. Oh, and the winter squash is the best in 8 years. Fall harvest and fall clean up are already under way. We need to start pulling in the winter squash to cure in the hoophouse where the skin can harden. The sweet potatoes are coming out next week and need to cure so they get sweet.  The drip irrigation needs to be pulled in, plastic and fabric rolled up for next year. Vacant fields need a cover crop to protect the soil over winter. Garlic needs a home in the ground soon, hoophouse needs to be erected, tomato cages need to be moved out of the field and close to where they will reside next season. Phew….lets not talk about what needs to be done in the next 30 days.

            The really great news is that the old barn foundation is 99% gone, and will be leveled today. The new hoophouse location is getting leveled in the next week or so and it’s only September 15th. There’s the positive attitude.  

           

 

Kelly Bratt & Andy Watson, Sprouting Acres

If you get a tomato or two that are still a bit green, it’s because we had to pull them before the frost. They will ripen up just fine. Set them in a sunny window sill for a few days until they turn all red, and they soften up a bit. Remember, most tomatoes in the U.S. are shipped green because ripe tomatoes are just too fragile for machine picking.  Grocery store tomatoes are usually picked green, gassed with ethylene to make them turn more or less red, then refrigerated and shipped. Even if the tomatoes are picked ripe, they're refrigerated before they're shipped, and that's what kills them. If you like a crunchy tomato with a really dull green and white flesh, then don’t buy local. But if you really like tomatoes that are sweet, savory, tangy, tart, acidic, and just delightful, then buy local.


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