What a difference a week can make! Last Sunday we were 10 degrees above normal at 89 degrees, while today we were 21 degrees below normal at 56. And with winds from the north at 10-15+ mph throughout the day…brr! It definitely has felt like a summer-to-winter transition over the past week. We’re even under a frost advisory for early tomorrow morning. If we do wake up to frost, it’ll be its earliest arrival date since 2008. Luckily, it looks like the 10-day forecast gets us back to more seasonally appropriate temperatures.
Despite the cold, we put in a full day today, harvesting mesclun, lettuce, turnip greens, and tat soi. Washing greens in the cold and wind was an interesting (that is, mildly unpleasant) experience until I wised up and moved the washing station into the greenhouse. With its wind-blocking, heat-trapping abilities, the greenhouse was the perfect oasis against the morning chill.
Due to the possibility of frost overnight, we heavily harvested our pepper plants. This may be the last pepper harvest of the season, but they’ll keep for several weeks in the fridge, so get a few for the fridge or freezer if you’re out of peppers!
We also tackled two related but unanticipated tasks this weekend: harvesting sweet potatoes and erecting a makeshift deer fence. We noticed yesterday that there was heavy deer browse at the end of one of the sweet potato rows, and on the row of radishes at the far edge of the field. Once deer discover such a lush buffet, they’ll keep coming back for more. So we took our tomato cages out of storage, placed them upside-down surrounding the field, and strung flagging ribbon from cage to cage, four strands high. This worked to keep deer out during last year’s severe drought, so hopefully it’ll keep them at bay again this year. We also harvested the sweet potatoes at the row end that had been browsed upon, because without leaves, they wouldn’t be sending much energy into their delicious roots.
Over the last three weeks or so, we’ve been adding a little each week to the variety of fall veggies available. The coming weeks look to be no exception, as kale, collards, and turnips are on the verge of being ready for harvest. Stroll over to our virtual farmer’s market to see what’s currently available!