Arriving at fall after a summer like this one is like being swept into an eddy after careening through rapids you didn’t think you would survive: you need a bit of deep-breathing and catch-up time before you’re ready to move ahead. But if we’ve fallen behind in posting about what’s happening at the farm, it hasn’t been for lack of anything to post about: it’s been busy, if less frantic, up there.
September stayed warm and dry until about the time we finally got a reliable source of water run up to the field: of course once we had something to irrigate with, it started raining and hasn’t let up long enough for the ground to dry up since.
We kept a steady supply of salad greens throughout September, and started getting fall squashes like delicatas and acorns, as well as a pumpkin or two:
Our everbearing raspberries stayed productive; slow-growing peppers and celery finally reached a size worth harvesting; and peas struggled to make a comeback before frost—they yielded more in shoots than pods, but they were delicious nonetheless.
September we started wrapping up our tomato harvest, which was as abundant this year as it was disappointing last year, and started preparing parts of the garden for next year by planting cover crops like field peas and rye, which add nutrients and bulk to the soil. It turned out those field peas yielded some direct culinary dividends as well, making their way into our next-to-last farm dinner as shoots in a salad with beets and pig’s head.
In October, we finally took an overdue staff trip up to the farm to relax for a night of heavy eating followed by a few hours in the cold watching the detritus of summer go up in flames.
Morning came too soon for some, but the prospect of chasing ducks finally lured everyone from his sleeping bag into a overcast day on which we warmed up by putting up the frame of greenhouse as big as the restaurant, filling sandbags to hold down the plastic for our low tunnels, and, of course, giving those ducks the times of their lives.