Crops Update: Vol 24

AER Volunteer Help

On Thursday of last week, a large volunteer group from Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) of Lexington returned to the farm to lend a hand again, after helping us with the fall harvest last year. They are great fun to work with because they model weather for a living and really enjoy seeing and discussing the relationship between the conditions of a season and the impact on crops. They worked diligently and longer than we expected, harvesting 3,100 pounds of potatoes and 200 pounds of carrots. They then helped us break up over 100 pounds of garlic heads for seeding. Thanks so much to all of our AER volunteers!

Garlic Planting

Thankfully, it seems like rain is finally coming. The late summer and fall has been exceptionally dry, and the soil has turned powdery, reminding us of last year’s drought. However, these warm and dry conditions have been perfect for planting next year’s garlic crop and for harvesting potatoes. Over the weekend, we finished planting next year’s garlic crop with help from community volunteers Mimansa, Phuong, and Susie. We set aside 400 pounds of our largest garlic heads from July’s harvest and have been planting a few beds at a time over the past week. Our hands are usually stinging from the cold as we try to finish this job before the ground freezes, but it’s been a treat to plant garlic in 70 degree weather this week. In November, we’ll cover the garlic beds with straw to protect the seed.

It’s a good thing our garlic is doing well, as it’ll be an important deterrent for potential vampires at our Tales of the Night event this week!

Farm Stand

Even though we are filling the root cellar with potatoes and carrots, we still have beautiful field crops for the stand, market and CSA. Today at the farmstand you can find heads of lettuce, spinach, bok choy, tatsoi, radish and bunched beets and carrots.  We’re fortunate this year that the beets and carrots still have nice tops at this point in the season—the cold has usually damaged them by now. The last plum tomatoes of 2017 are also at the stand today. They’ve been ripening since we saved them from the freeze and are sweet enough to be sliced and eaten raw or cooked into sauce—yum! You also still have some time to sign up for our Fall CSA and Winter CSA to keep getting delicious, fresh crops throughout the colder seasons.

Your Farmers

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About Kelly R.

Where: Mass Audubon Headquarters, Lincoln & Metro West Sanctuaries Who: Farm-fanatic, house plant caretaker, and hiking aficionado living in Salem, bringing sustainable practices and outdoor adventures into everyday life. Favorite part of the job: lunch break walks around Drumlin Farm