Hard Frost, Hard Times

Greetings members!

I hope you all are staying warm as these winter temps hit us hard this week! As I’m sure many of you have assumed, while we were shivering so were our veggies. A large chunk of our sensitive crops took a hit this week when the temperatures dipped. We were certainly bummed to see it – but not surprised. This time of year is so unpredictable and the best that we can do is cross our fingers that the temps stay in our favor.

Before taking a step back from the farm we did our best to cover-up the greens most prone to damage but made a mistake in not creating a plan for the hardier crops (celeriac, kohlrabi, cabbage, celery, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga) These guys can really hang in there when the frost comes on – but as with all plants, there is a threshold. What most farms do with these crops is leave them in the ground until harvest is absolutely necessary – then they are bagged up and put into cold storage where they can hold for months given the right conditions.

This farm is special in that we do not use cold storage – everything is held in a non-refrigerated root cellar. This, for the most part, meets all of our needs for the year as we move all of our harvested crops very quickly. Being on this 3 week pause put us in a hard position – not knowing when the frost would come, when we should harvest and how long we could expect our crops to hold. It felt very “damned if you do damned if you don’t”. So we put out faith in weather – this is hardly ever a wise idea as a farmer. Anthony and I came to the farm last Sunday with plans to harvest and hold most of the hardy crops and found that we had suffered some loss: Celery, Kohlrabi, and Cabbage. These are the casualties we are aware of this far. It’s sad – that we wont be getting them to you of course -but also because of the time love and labor put into these veggies that won’t be fulfilling their veggie destiny. On the upside – we pulled a massive harvest of carrots, parsnips, celeriac, and rutabaga. If all holds up in the root cellar plan to work these into the Thanksgiving menu!

What’s going on under the row-cover is still very much a mystery to us – we’ll see next week what more is in store for us! I think we are looking forward to rocking through this last harvest and tucking in the farm for the season. There are lots of numbers to crunch and ideas to spin for next season and I can hardly wait to start!

Thanks again for always being here – we’ll see you soon!

<3SAL

Leslie (217)840-0683

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