Normally the season begins winding down about now, but for the past month the farm crew consists of just Carl and Julie, so we’re working long hours and successfully delivering around 68 CSA Shares (which is our highest priority) and are also selling just as much at tailgate market. We wouldn’t want to do this long term but it is the hand we were dealt this season.
We are proud to have transplanted approximately 2500 strawberry plants the past couple weeks and are very happy that Mother Nature seems to be working with our schedule. After we finished transplanting the strawberries last Monday, it rained all night, watering in the plants, and now we are hopeful that the strawberries develop a good root system before winter sets into this valley.
This past Saturday was EXTREMELY BUSY and our single busiest week of the season! We harvested Friday for market until about 12:30 PM, then slept a couple hours, went to the North Asheville Tailgate market and sold veggies to our AMAZING customers, came home and finished digging sweet potatoes. We decided we couldn’t put off digging sweet potatoes another week because they are extremely frost sensitive and our crop would be ruined if exposed to freezing temperatures. Irish potatoes are deeper in the soil, while sweet potatoes grow near the surface so are more apt to frost burn, and Sunday night our forecast was for temperatures VERY CLOSE to freezing. We didn’t want to risk loosing 700 pounds of sweet potatoes to frost. We are SO THANKFUL that the rain held off until Saturday night, because had it rained Saturday morning, the soil would have been too wet for digging sweet potatoes after market. So our Saturday ended around 8 PM and we are estimating that we have about 1600 pounds of sweet potatoes curing in our cooler. Again, thanks to Mother Nature for cooperating with our schedule!
Then Sunday came, and the forecast that morning was for a low of 38 degrees, which meant here in our valley it would be 34, too close to freezing for comfort. So we contemplated should we cover the green beans, edamame and harvest all the peppers? We were geared up to do so but didn’t quite feel up to it after working a lot of hours this past month…. So then around 3:30 PM we checked weather again and the forecast was for a low of 40 degrees, and we still have cloud cover, which was enough to make us comfortable to where we decided to just simply drink a glass of wine. Then around 5:30 PM the sky began to clear and the forecast for a low of 40. That clear sky was enough to make us go out and pick a few bushels of peppers. It is inevitable that we will soon have a freeze and will need to do a mass pepper harvest before that time so this Sunday evening was as good a chance as any. These are the type of decisions that us farmers’ make over a couple degrees.
The “Stanford Study” has been a top news story recently, and spurring plenty of conversations at market in regards to ogranic food, so please read the this article in regards to just another opinion of the study.