Lettuce (canary tongue or red leaf)
Southern Giant Mustard Greens
Hakurei Salad Turnips
Cilantro & Thai Basil
September is just about finished and we have been transplanting and direct seeding as quickly as possible in order to get as many successions of crops in for our Fall, Winter, and Early Spring needs. We were lucky to get some good weather for planting last week before the onslaught of rain soaked our farm through and through. Now we will have a week focused on weeding our fall crops and cleaning up old beds in order to get them ready for next Spring. We are also beginning to focus on planting up our high tunnel and other covered spaces for crops in need of winter protection. Our covered spaces will provide the bulk of our winter greens produce: spinach, swiss chard, arugula, herbs, kale, chicories, lettuce, and a few trials of root and legumes such as favas, carrots, and beets. Although Virginia does have relatively mild winters, the weather fluctuates a lot, so although many crops will survive the temperatures, many greens get damage on their leaves making them unmarketable. Our covered spaces provide consistency and leaf protection that produces more growth and better quality. Winter growing is a completely different set of parameters to “regular season” growing especially when the plants are under a covered structure. Ventilation/ temperature control, irrigation, weed control, and pest management become very important when you are creating a protected microclimate. Our crops are grown in tighter spacing in order to utilize every inch of land and all the work is done by hand. More compost is added, with every successive planting, beds are broad forked to encourage drainage, pathways are mulched and drip irrigation is used to keep only the crops irrigated and discourage weeds, we do weekly checks for weeds and pests, with the hopes of keeping them at bay, and the spaces are opened daily to provide ventilation in order to discourage plant diseases arising. In October we begin shifting our focus towards winter growing, the shortening of days, slower plant growth, and clearing our covered spaces of Summer crops to make room for Winter ones.
This week the share encourages those who like kimchi to make some for those winter days when you need some fermented pickle to spice up your cuisine. The daikon, napa cabbage, mustard greens, and hakurei turnips can all play a part in some delicious kimchi. Our favorite recipes come from Maangchi, a Korean food blog, check it out here. http://www.maangchi.com/recipes/kimchi We have include a number of recipes influenced by Indian, Southeast Asian, and Chinese Cuisine. If you have some mint in your garden please try pairing it with the cilantro and Thai basil in a salad or stir-fried dish as they are an amazing combination. Enjoy the share….Brian and Autumn