With the last Chester Sunday market in the books, there not much left to do but look back and reminisce. Back to the first market that we prepared for but actually was happening the following week. To the actual first market a week later when just two nights before we discovered the compressor on our walk in cooler was done for. The subsequent weeks that followed trying to balance the workflow of a new market with the struggles of sub par refrigeration. All the while struggling to find the answers to the tractor that just wouldn’t start. But there is so much more than just those struggles. There are the great to vendors turned friends we have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know. Everyone at the shops and restaurants who were so nice and hospitable. And of course all the Good Food People both new and old that we were overjoyed to share our food and conversations with. All and all it was a really good market season in the quaint little town of Chester, with any luck there will be some room for us in the market next year.
Though markets maybe ending all around the state for a four season farm like ourselves, instead of closing down we are switching gears. Though it’s hard to let go of all the heat loving crops we wait so long to have. For all but the latest planting of tomatoes and the turmeric time is just about up. The nursery is filled with transplants that are ready to go in as soon as their summer veggie friends are removed. Mostly a variety of Chinese cabbages, choys and spinach as well as lettuces that have been diligently seeded each and every week of the past month and a half. Besides transplanting there is still a lot of direct seeding that will be taking place. In fact a decent amount of it is scheduled to take place today. Now is just about it for our chance to plant something we hope to have in this season but there is also the challenge of not planting too much all at once. Although we want a steady supply of greens all winter long if we plant too much too early there will be large luxurious plantings that can be damaged by the extreme lows of the winter months. The key will be timing and little bit of luck. Hopefully by spacing out the final plantings of fall over the next few weeks all of our lovely brassica friends will be arriving at the winter markets in pristine condition.
Stepping from inside the high tunnels to out in the fields there is quite a different feel and not just the one created with the HT micro climate. Hoops and row cover are in place to create their own micro climate, hopefully speeding up the growth slowed by September’s rains. The beds that are done for the year and won’t receive cover crop for are being prepped and covered for protection. We probably have more areas in cover crop this year than in the past, with nearly every area we intend to cover crop in Durham done. That leaves a few spots in Middlefield to receive winter rye and maybe vetch so long as it is safe vegetation for the sheep to graze.
With nearly all the cover cropping done all eyes look towards the next critical plantings that will take place in 2023, the over wintered carrots and garlic. Just over a month off now on the carrot planting it’s time to call up one of our reliable seed suppliers for an order of 100k carrot seeds. As far as garlic goes we have some good and bad news. Let’s start with the bad; are 99% out of garlic available for sale. The Good news is we have 300 lbs stashed away to ambitiously plant for the coming season. There is a chance when we complete the 2023 Great Garlic Planting that more will be available, but there is no guarantee.
Last week, in what felt like divine timing, we stumbled upon this piece by Ty. With David’s permission we wanted to share it with all you good food people out there. Take care & gather peace
Have a Great Week!