The last several years we have had frost by the 3rd week of September. The frost tender plants were done before October began. That meant fewer items in CSA shares and a skimpier table at Market. Not this season. Production continues though slower for the hot weather crops. I bumped up the CSA allotment since the market has tailed off with school in session and summer residents back to permanent homes. I had a small but really nice green bean harvest last week. A bit of a surprise that everyone seemed to enjoy.
An additional benefit is the boost the cover crops have had. They have never been so well established. The oats have fully taken over in the summer squash and potato rows. The dry beans have had more time to finish this season. I like to see them nearly dry down on the plant than have to dry in the barn or basement. I was able to finish the pie pumpkins in the field. Most plants set 5+ fruits. The first few matured over a week ago, but the last few were slow to finish. A local micro-brewery needed some for a Harvest Series of brews it was doing. Really cool to work with them… http://www.latitude42brewingco.com/
Plans for next season are taking shape. I plan for production to meet need. This can be difficult with the biggest challenge being overproduction. One place I farmed they wanted overproduction and continue doing so. Touting their contribution to the local food bank. In a sustainable context of farm production the farmer really needs to be much closer to optimizing resources rather than planning for overproduction and wasting money and workers energy. This season has been an eye opener in general farm overproduction. The local market has been flooded with produce that it can barely consume. If local farmers aren’t able to expand demand for their own production then all of us will be met with declining marginal revenues that will have disastrous effects. Growing food is not too hard to do. Profitably marketing the farms produce is a challenge that many need to focus energy on in the offseason. (Me included!!!)