THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• Zucchini and Summer Squashes
• Giant Cauliflower
• Romano Snap Beans or Swiss Chard or Kale
• Shelling Beans or Lettuce
• Tomatoes: “Fantastic”, “Black Trifele”, and mixed Cherry Tomatoes
• Green or Lemon Cucumbers
• Genovese Basil or Cilantro
Flowers: Bachelor’s Buttons, Cosmos, Spider Flower, Black-Eyed Susans, Zinnias, Statice, Castor Beans, Sunflowers, Mallow, Love-in-a-Puff,
U-Pick Herbs need some time to recover from the heavy picking this summer. It was our first year to try this, and we now know that we need a lot more plants! We are planning raised beds so that we can increase the planting space, and number of plants for next summer. Thanks for making this such a success!
It’s the last week of September, or the first week of October. Generally, we would have had our first fall frost several weeks ago. But, thankfully we’ve had unseasonably warm weather. It’s been humid, yes, but it’s been warm enough to stretch a bit more summer from this cruelly short summer. People start asking about winter squashes toward the end of September, and we have always maintained that we would sell no squash before its’ time. That time begins in October. I figure, we have at least 6 months of winter to get through, so why rush the winter squash?
This year, however, we’ll be lucky if any of the squashes are ready the first week of October. In other years, we would have been harvesting the earliest varieties in early September. But, those are the 90-day varieties, and in a normal year we would have planted them by mid-May. Since we were still having frosty nights in mid-May, and then it wouldn’t stop raining, we didn’t plant any winter squash until mid-June. Our earliest 90-day varieties are just barely finishing-up now. Thanks to this late warm weather, we’re confident that we’ll have the Acorn-types ready (those include Honey-Bear, Table Queen, Festival, and Heart-of-Gold). We still need another week or two to allow the Delicata and earliest Kabocha-types to mature. These include the Gold Nugget, Kabocha, Buttercup, and Red Kuri). We’re also waiting for the pie pumpkins to finish turning orange—they are still half-green.
As for carving pumpkins, well, I have sad news. We thought it would be better to get all the edible squashes planted first, so the pumpkin patch didn’t get planted until the next dry spell, which was toward the end of June. We have lots of green pumpkins of various sizes, but very few of them are even starting to turn orange. So, if you’re open to a green jack-o-lantern, you’re in luck!
Also benefitting from the late warm weather are the basil, the snap beans, the fennel, and lettuces. However, the lettuces are starting to get a little bottom-rot from the warm, humid weather. They don’t like that so much. But, considering that we are almost to the start of the Winter season, everything is hanging in there really well. The winter crops are coming along nicely, and we’re looking forward to all those frost-sweetened roots and leafy greens. That is, assuming we get some frost eventually.