As the calendar pages flip by, it might be a good time to share a little end-of-summer update from the farm. Although the sun is high, the bugs are loud, and the temperatures are ramping up toward sweltering this week, it’s time to start phasing out our summer crops and planting our first rounds of fall crops. While fruiting plants, like squash, tomatoes, and peppers, all require long sunny days, our leafier produce is going to love the cooler temps the next few months have in store. This doesn’t mean we’re done planting out all of our summer goodies just yet. It just means we’re starting to devote more bedspace to our cooler weather favorites like spinach, kale, and cabbage. While we’ll likely have some of our more summer-specific produce like cucumbers up until about November, we’re very excited for the promise of cooler days somewhere in the near future. We just wanted to let you all in on a few things on our minds as August ticks by.
1. We’re Getting More Fall Stuff Planted
Because there is a diverse variety of seeds out there in the organic seed world, we’re able to acquire many different varieties of our favorite plants, some allowing for a bridge in weather resistance. While there may be a few-week window where we have to go without a bunched green or two, we’re hoping to bridge much of the gap and sustain harvestable crops throughout most seasons. Come October, we’ll likely be experiencing another little “second spring.” While the temps won’t be quite as hot and the sun will still be shining, we’ll have a chance to grow things we haven’t seen in a few months. Fingers crossed and many well-wishes for this week’s planting/seeding of kohlrabi, turnips, radishes, and carrots.
2. Squash, Cucumbers, and Tomatoes Coming in Heavy:
As I’ve mentioned in many blog articles before, the fact that nature knows exactly what we need when we need it always amazes me. And since it’s still so hot and sunny, we’ve been gifted hundreds of pounds of squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Each one is specifically beneficial during the height of the summer and provides us with necessary vitamins and minerals to help us beat the heat and stay healthy and safe. Tomatoes (besides being filled with lycopene, which helps protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays – read more on that here) contain a healthy amount of potassium. Potassium is easily expelled from your body through sweat. As your potassium levels dwindle, you may experience more brain fog, fatigue, and muscle cramping. Good thing a little tomato snack during the height of the summer may just give you the little pick-me-up your cells are looking for. Summer squash and zucchini are both hydrating and packed with essential electrolytes. Perfect for the heat of the summer. Even though many squash plants are being hit hard by bug pressure, they seem to be managing for now. Besides the omnipresent pest, the squash bug, the main culprit right now is the squash vine borer. Cucumbers are 95% water and along with the plethora of nutrients found in our favorite cukes, this means that they can help reduce heat buildup associated with inflammation, quench your thirst, relieve dehydration and fight fatigue due to sun exposure. Bada-bing bada-boom!
3. Green Beans Are Still Popping, (But May Go Soon?)
We love our green beans here (except maybe not harvesting them all the time – that part can take a little while). Our bush bean beds have been steadily producing for several weeks and we’re so thankful. However, like with anything, they also have a shelf life and we’re looking to use that bed space for some yummy early-fall crops soon! Read more on this southern favorite here!
4. Okra, Here We Go-kra!
After much anticipation, our okra seems to finally be coming in heavy. Get your favorite okra recipes ready. Personally, I like to add okra to a curry or pickle it! Read more about okra here!
As always, you’re welcome to come visit us as we transition from full summer and walk around the gardens, just being mindful that this is a working farm so make sure you’re wearing appropriate footwear!