The cold weather crops laughed it off and kept growing, one of them being the Watermelon radishes that you'll see this week. We're continuing to take up the old mulch film and drip irrigation in preparation for cover crop seeding. We had some visitors checking out the farm from a Bruderhof community in western Pennsylvania the other day, who liked our use of sudangrass for thistle control and flame weeding in carrots and parsnips. Including this week we have four harvests and lots of tasty fall crops to go before we turn our attention to making gift boxes for Christmas.
Lots of Leaves?
The final harvest will be on Nov 12, 13 & 14--self harvest opportunities will follow for those of you who wish to glean the fields for remaining crops.
More Fun with Seeds--Non Tropicals this Time:
- Apple: remove seeds and store in an air tight container or zip lock bag in your refrigerator for 90 days or more.
- Pear: remove seeds and store in an air tight container or zip lock bag in your refrigerator for 90 days or more.
- Peach: remove seeds, crack the pit open in a vise gently, remove the almond-like seed and store in an air tight container or zip lock bag in your refrigerator for 90 days or more.
- Cherry: remove seeds and store in an air tight container or zip lock bag in your refrigerator for 90 days or more.
- Persimmon: remove seeds and store in an air tight container or zip lock bag in your refrigerator for 90 days or more
- Pawpaw: remove seeds and store in an air tight container or zip lock bag in your refrigerator for 90 days or more
The best time to start these seeds is in February/March when the days are lengthening and there is more sunshine, but the seeds can be kept refrigerated for much longer than 90 days if desired.
Pick Your Own Field Update
The pick your own field is finished following the killing frost on Monday.
Drip Tape Available
If you are interested in some used drip irrigation for your garden or flower beds for next year, please ask one of us here at the farm.
About Some of the Characters
- Shunkgiku: these sweet and mild greens are tasty in a salad or added to soups and stir-fries at the last minute to prevent overcooking.
- Watermelon Radish: beautiful, crisp and fairly sweet for a radish--see the article below about them.
- Parsnip: roast with other root vegetables, add to stews and soups, beef stew etc.
- Collards: a nutritional phytonutrient powerhouse and loaded with calcium. De-stem, chop and sauté with oil and garlic and serve as a side and see recipe below.
- Arugula: a nutty, sort of spicy green--great addition to any salad and see Arugula Pesto recipe below
- Bell Peppers: soon to be gone, these are the most nutritious when raw, and the long Carmen variety is the new favorite here
- Greens: discard the stems or ribs, and use the leaves sautéed with olive oil, garlic, onion, soy sauce etc.
About Watermelon Radish
A large round root vegetable related to the turnip and horseradish family, with a crisp texture and a mild to sweet peppery flavor. Unlike many other radishes, the intensity of this radish decreases as the radish matures. Generally, the flesh of this radish is hotter toward the outside and sweeter toward the center. The Watermelon radish grows to approximately three inches in diameter, displaying a white outer skin at the top with green shoulders and a pink base that covers a bright red to magenta inner flesh.
There are two main categories of radishes commonly known as either spring or winter radishes. The category of each is determined by their growing season and when they are harvested. Spring radishes are harvested early in their growing season resulting in a smaller radish. The winter radishes are harvested later in their growth and result in a larger round or more elongated shaped vegetable. The Watermelon radish is considered to be a spring radish, but may be available throughout the year. This radish can be cooked like a turnip, creamed and served as a side dish, sautéed and braised to be served as a vegetable dish, or added to stir-fry dishes. The skin can be removed prior to preparing. It can also be served raw to be used as hors d'oeuvres, as a complement to salads and sandwiches or diced for use in soups and stews. The color of the inner flesh makes it an attractive sliced radish for an appetizer tray or for sandwiches.
When selecting, choose radishes that are firm, crisp, and without blemishes. Radishes grown and harvested when temperatures remain hot, develop an increased bitterness. Store without the leafy tops and place in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic to keep fresh for several weeks. This radish may also be referred to a Beauty Heart, Rose Heart, Shinrimei, Misato, Asian Red Meat, or Xin Li Mei radish.
A special thanks to Elizabeth Swope, Assistant Farm Manager, for brilliant work supervising and working with the farm crew last week during the extremely wet and cold conditions, keeping everyone protected from the elements while getting the harvest in. Nice job Elizabeth and crew!