no. 38

Hello again! We’re still here, despite the recently quiet blog, enjoying our first beautiful autumn on the farm and in Wisconsin! I feel we have been here for a long while given the many new friends, projects, and developments, but a year ago today the home inspection still had not happened and garlic had not yet been planted (more on garlic later).

A couple of photos of our market setup this past weekend feature the last of a too-small crop of really amazing carrots, a mix of scarlet nantes, dragon, and cosmic red that always sells out, as well as some tender fall scallions and two remaining winter squash varieties, waltham butternut and winter luxury pie pumpkin.

For next market (tomorrow), we will bring back some beautiful kale (for the last time in 2018) and while we are out of scallions and carrots, we are beginning to offer storage crops including german butterball and daisy gold potatoes, rutabaga and turnips, parsnips, and a lovely mini green daikon called green meat.

We planted our 2019 garlic on Sunday, and thanks to the help received, it was all in the ground and finished in less than an hour! Garlic is currently a minor crop for us and we are still building up our seed bank, so only 600 cloves were planted. Slowly ramping it all up. We planted german extra hardy, which came from a small quantity grown at PFP, as well as nootka rose, a soft neck garlic that we are excited to grow and taste!

Aside from garlic planting time, this fall has a period of amazing outdoor views, of course. Most of the farm is populated by the lovely box elder tree, which loses is dried, brown leaves in a most unemphatic manner early in the fall. This means that the few larger trees around us look especially spectacular, notably the many trees on a small hillside across the road and the tree below, which is located at the far corner of the irregularly hexagonal property. A wonderful thing to behold!

There is so much to report on this week! Two more bits of news make us happy and a little sad, respectively.

First, our yellow cherry tomatoes (white cherry) and pink-red tomatoes (rose de berne), shown above at our market stall, were some of the favorites at a tomato tasting that took place on September 15 at Tiny Diner in south Minneapolis. We were able to join the casual tasting toward its end, after our market, and it was very fun, and especially interesting to try many varieties and also talk methods and soil types to determine the related differences in taste and texture between tomatoes and farms. Yay!

Some sadder news concerns our small homestead flock of ducks and chickens, which was almost entirely devoured while N and I took a 3-hour trip into town on Wednesday evening. We returned to a single nervously quiet duck, and a dead chicken I could barely see in the dark. The next morning, one champion rhode island red hen actually returned to her coop, but the rest of the hens were clearly eaten and 2 of the ducks are not to be found and there is no apparent trace left of them.

Concerning this, we are feeling like bad caretakers of the birds, surely. They at least went as food for other animals, and the each surviving bird will have a new home with plenty of friends by this evening (thanks to the new caretakers!).

I will miss them, no doubt, as they were quite a lovely part of the environment here!



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