It seems like only a month or two ago, we were ramping up to production levels with our main crops. While there are still lots of veggies on the vines, we are starting to see our plants die off.
This weekend, I pulled the squash and cucumber plants out and recycled them. The potato plants are starting to die off (which means the potato harvest is just around the corner)! The green bean plants are starting to show some rust. The broccoli and cauliflower plants are still leafing…no heads, but LOTS of leaves. Not really sure what happened there. Some experts suggest that the plants were water stressed and so didn’t flower. Others say they didn’t get enough sun, but, regardless the reason, there was no harvest this year!
The tomato plants are still going strong. I found tiny yellow blossoms on them even today. Fortunately, these plants are in a location where I can protect them from any frosts, so we should enjoy their bounty for quite a while. The pepper plants are still producing. There are quite a few peppers, but I’m hoping for them to ripen before picking. The fall lettuce and greens crop is starting to grow in. Maybe a week or two before they are ready to harvest. We’re also planting the fall radish crop. The second carrot crop is in the ground and will be ready to harvest soon.
Before long, we will be clearing out all the containers and circulating the soil to “rotate” the crops. We’ll add in our home-grown compost and allow that to work its magic on the soil over the winter. We’ll put away our garden tools and hoses for the winter.
Even though the plants are winding down their season, the farmers are winding up planning for next year! We are looking at plant varieties and planting locations to get even more out of our small space. We’re planning with landowners to expand our available cropland. We are looking at products and services we can offer to homeowners who want to put in their own vegetable garden. We’re planning the items to sell at the Holiday Gift Fair on Nov 5. We are even looking for an apprentice to join our team next year and learn all the ins and outs of urban farming.
We have enjoyed our inaugural year as a CSA and hope that you have received the value you expected. It was a busy year – even busier than we expected – and we are glad you stuck it out with us as we grew our farm from a backyard garden to an urban vegetable incubator. We are taking all the lessons we’ve learned and are incorporating them into our 2012 plan. Each year gets better and better. We will offer CSA memberships for 2012 starting in March. All memberships are first come, first served, so please sign up for our mailing list to get notified when membership applications are open.