It was a sad sight this week. The tomatoes did not survive the weekend. As I was walking up to the tomato field I thought I caught a glimpse of healthy and thriving plants near the center. It made sense. The tomato plants on the outer parts of the field would be the most exposed to the frost. Perhaps the collective warmth of the mass of tomato plants in the center would keep the middle plants warm enough to make it through the frosty mornings.
No such luck. The frosty nights were too much for my lovely tomato plants. Each plant was a shriveled, dead green. After taking a moment to remember all the wonderful tomatoes that came out of that field, we marched in and starting taking down the trellising. Perhaps that sounds a bit hasty to you, but there is no way I am going to be cleaning up the tomato field in the middle of November when it will most likely be cold and wet. I know from experience that cold, wet, dead tomato plants are no fun, no fun at all.
So we’ve begun the end of season clean up. Instead of weeding and planting (when we’re not harvesting), we are rolling up irrigation, cutting down tomato trellising, and generally putting things away. It’s a good feeling. This weekend I’m hoping to get on the tractor and mow down a few old crops and then get ready for planting cover crops. The cover crops will grow a little this fall and keep the soil from blowing away during the windy winter months. Then in the spring the cover crop will continue growing. When it’s time to plant in the spring, I’ll till in the cover crop, which will add organic matter to the soil. That will add to the nutrients in the soil so that I will have happy and healthy plants next year. ( Thank you for letting me indulge in my teacher moment.)
Enjoy the box this week! Next week will be our last week, so savor those farm fresh veggies!
Grayslake pick up people- remember the pick up is now at my place.
What’s in the Box
Arugula– This peppery and nutty green will add zest to salads and sandwiches. Add a damp paper towel to the bag to keep it hydrated.
Salad Mix– A great mix of lettuces just ready to be tossed in a bowl. Ditto on the damp paper towel idea above.
Watermelon Radish– These are the pale green roots in your box. Cut them open to reveal a fuchsia colored inside! A mild radish that is wonderful in salads. (By the way, I just learned how to spell fuchsia for the first time in my life.)
Hakurei Turnip– These lovely white turnips are great raw in salads or as a snack with hummus. Add them to a stir fry for a nice crunch.
Onions– These onions will be a great addition to any roasted vegetable or meat, or as a base for a soup.
Broccoli– Time for some frost-sweetened broccoli. I think fall broccoli is the best. And yes, I’m serious, a frost will make it sweeter.
Beets– Enjoy the beets. These may well be the last of the year. They’re great roasted alone or with other root vegetables.
Garlic– What dish doesn’t benefit from garlic? Ok, desserts. But other than that . .
Kohlrabi– These are the purple roots in your box. Peel the skin and slice. It adds a great crunch to salads. It’s also great eaten raw as a snack with a little salt.
Kohlrabi Ideas– Check out the list of kohlrabi ideas from Mariquita Farm at mariquita.com
Steak and Watermelon Radish Sandwich– from myrecipes.com
The Best Easy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry– from Chinesefood.com
Roasted Beet Salad– from oprah.com