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That special time of year

Surely there is no need to convince anyone that the weather as of late has been anything but epic(or even tropical). Needless to say we have been soaking it up as best we can, even sweating and occasionally seeking the refuge of shade. All the while we must keep in the back of our minds that the cold will be here. Yes, we have been spoiled not having to cover and uncover the fields outside. However, the calendar does not lie and the sun now sets each evening before 5pm. Forecasts predict cold nights to come and we’ll surely be doing some true winter close up, with crop protection in in place by the weeks end.

In some regards the weather has cooperated beautifully this fall, with several degrees of frosts being experienced in October. Allowing our veggie friends in the fields to harden off. The first few frost they remained covered and with the last few uncovered(mostly be design). How the jump back into summer like temps will undue the hardening off is difficult to tell and with any luck we’ll get one more light frost before lows get into the 20’s.

photo by Sam Kraszewski

With November here and in full swing a few things are at the fore front of our minds.  One is how many more markets are left this season?  Simply put 2 for Madison and 5 for Cityseed New Haven. With the time change the last 2 Madison markets will run from 3-5 ending an hour early. Thanksgiving week there will be no markets and on farm pick up will be limited to Tuesday only.

Other thoughts on our minds are simply enough, what to plant?  The answer is clear the time has come for overwintered carrots and garlic.  We have planted our first 220 or so row feet of garlic this past week.  Mostly the damaged heads not suitable for sale.  This way we can get an accurate idea of how much garlic we can bring to market in the coming weeks.  We are about as proud of how good our garlic seed is, as we are about the taste.  Yes there is still time to plant garlic for next year.

Overwintered carrots have been a staple for us for at least the past 6 years.  A lesson learned from Elliot Coleman arguably the O.G. of Four season market gardening and an inspiration to Star Light Gardens since it’s very inception.  With the benefit of more covered space we plant them both inside the high tunnels and out side in low tunnels.  Carrot germination can be tricky and we have a few tricks up our sleeves concerning that, not too mention Joel;s clear over purchase of 200k carrot seeds.  “Better safe than sorry” he says.  Though our current carrot supply is healthy it we inevitable run out before the May appearance of the overwintered gems.  Well worth the wait though, in the mean time enjoy what is left of the beautiful fall weather.

Have a great week

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