Preparing For The Freeze

September 28, 2015

As you know, the CSA year is wrapping up, however, we do continue selling vegetables at markets, restaurants and stores until the New Year.  This week, we begin preparing to protect our crops throughout October, November, and December.  We will complete our final two plantings of lettuce, mesclun mix, and arugula this week in our last open high tunnel.  Every other crop has been planted and now will need to be protected once the cold weather sets in.

 

We have four different approaches to covering crops for the winter.  Crops that we will be harvesting in October that will only need to live through light freezes will have simple wire hoops placed over top of them.  We will secure a row cover over the hoops that can protect the crop down to 28 degrees.  We will do this for lettuce and mesclun mixes, radishes, beets, scallions, hakurei turnips, etc… to make sure their leaves do not get damaged by frosts. 

 

Many crops are much smaller now and will not be ready until November.  For example, we have beds of radishes that will be harvested during the third week of October, therefore, they get covered with a row cover on wire hoops, however, we also have different beds of radishes that won’t be ready until the first week in November.  These crops being harvested in November will have a different covering system.  First, we will hammer rebar into the ground and place PVC pipes onto the rebar making tall rigid hoops over the plants.  We then cover the hoops with row covers that can protect crops down to 28 degrees, but can also place sheets of plastic on top of the hoops to protect the crops down to the upper teens.

 

By mid to late November, we will have harvested everything in the field and the night temperatures will be quite cold.  This is when our crops in our high tunnels should be ready for harvest.  We have 16 smaller high tunnels spread throughout the field.  In these we have planted lettuce mixes, spinach, celery, pak choy, fennel, herbs, kale, chard, beets, carrots, etc…  We have 3 other larger high tunnels that we reserve for kale, spinach, lettuce mix and arugula.  We then harvest out of the high tunnels until January 1st before we clean them out and begin to plant for the following year.  The larger high tunnels are used at this time because they offer the best protection from the cold and are rather pleasant to work in when it’s really cold outside.

 

Once the CSA ends, you can purchase our late fall and winter vegetables and the Easton Farmer’s Market, Healthy Alternatives in Trexlertown, Fairgrounds Poultry in Allentown and various restaurants.

 

This week's share consists of:
Full Share- delicata squash, head lettuce, carrots, green kale, broccoli, scallions, escarole, radishes, red beets, sweet peppers, hakurei turnips

Half Share- delicata squash, head lettuce, carrots, green kale, broccoli, scallions

What can I make with my share this week?? Here are a couple of ideas!

 

Thai Peanut Stuffed Sweet Potatoes- http://sharedappetite.com/recipes/thai-peanut-stuffed-sweet-potatoes/#_a5y_p=2853426

 

Crunchy Noodle Salad- http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/crunchy-noodle-salad-recipe.print.html

 

Creamy Summer Slaw- http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/creamy-summer-slaw-51178860

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Alburtis, PA 18011

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Salvaterra's Gardens