Very interesting question!! The answer is.....some do and some don't.......probably pretty obvious!! But when trying to raise a crops (or keep crops going) the one major concern is not temperature (although that plays a roll) but light. When the days are shorter than 12 hours plants start to slip into dormancy mode. Even the cool weather lovers will slow their growth rates to minimal levels. This means that crops that are outside in the beds grow so slowly that even the cut and come again crops (like arugula) don't "come again." To make the question even more interesting.......no new sowing can occur.
The way fall/winter gardens are usually operated is as follows........plant sometime late summer and enjoy your bounty through november and december. January becomes the bleakest month for local veggies as even plants that can handle the cold are not growing.
This begs the question then......what about in the high tunnel? Right now we have numerous crops in the high tunnel including.....gator perpetual spinach, kohlrabi, beets, arugula, swiss chard, spinach, red russian kale, tatsoi, cilantro, dill, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower, fennel, onions and chinese cabbage. Those of you that picked up a box this past week know that the arugula you are enjoying this week did indeed come out of the high tunnel!!! While there are NO references for Louisiana regarding growing in a high tunnel during the dormant season......it appears that the buffered climate (higher humidity and temps) offset a bit of the concern regarding light. The crops are growing as if they were planted under shade cloth (i.e. low light conditions). This is fine for some.....(your leafy greens) but may pose an issue for the root crops.
We have the ultimate quest to grow year round.........however, in these first few years of high tunnel growing it is like a big science experiment. Figuring out what we can and can't do. Hopefully some of the crops will make it to our plates soon!!!
Happy Holidays and we will see you all in 2012!!! And what a year it will be...........47 Daisies is going to be making a number of changes this coming growing season all to the benefit of veggie lovers......but those will have to be in another post!!!!
See you in the new year!!
Dylan and I watched a few episodes of Hoarders (thanks to Netflix) not long ago, and it was so disturbing. I hope I never become a hoarder. It scares me to death. Dylan calls me a packrat, but that's a long way from hoarding. That, I can live with (I guess...).
So, as I'm looking out the windows of the house I notice that my own husband has become a hoarder, of sorts. He has little piles of (fill in the blank) ALL OVER the farm!! Piles of leaves, piles of horse manure, piles of pine needles, piles of compost, piles of wood chips......every...where. He's like a squirrel filling his nest for winter. It's really funny to see the lengths that he goes through to collect these piles, too. For the leaf piles (which there's probably 20 of, at least), it took a full half day of blowing and raking. The manure is trucked home from a horse farm. The wood chip piles are a result of a full week of clearing and involved the rental of a chipper. I could go on and on.
As fun as it is to laugh at him for all of his piles, there is a purpose for each and every one of them. One of the reasons Dylan is so successful as a gardener is because he is constantly working the soil. A lot of these piles will be added to the soil and tilled into the ground. Others will be used for mulch around plants to help hold in moisture and prevent weeds from growing.
So all of his hard work and hoarding will pay off in the end. It always does. :)
(But it's still funny...).
If you follow our writings you know that the high tunnel was recently finished. We have been messing around trying to get the high tunnel's finishing touches accomplished and I think we are about there. We sowed the first crops in early november for a winter harvest and things are coming along nicely (will post pictures soon). As always it is fun to guess and see which crops are going to be the winners in the race to harvestable size and once again.........the winner is........arugula. High tunnel arugula will be coming in the CSA boxes next week. This arugula is not like the arugula that has been in your boxes in the past few weeks. This is baby arugula. Tender as tender can get. It was a close race though......the tatsoi is not far behind and some of the other crops are looking promising as well. 150 broccoli transplants and 100 chinese cabbage transplants were planted out last week and onions, fennel, cauliflower, celery, celeriac and tomatoes are soon to follow. WE are also going to be planting strawvberries in the high tunnel to get an early crop of berries......hopefully we will have enough to share!!!
In addition to the high tunnel the hoop house in the front fields was cleaned up, soil worked, amended and sowed last week. In the hoophouse we sowed lettuce, ruby streaks mustard, premium greens mix, red turnips, chioggia beets, red carrots, radishes and perpetual spinach......let the race begin!! Who will be first out of the hoop house??
The Week by Week CSA has been going for 10 weeks now, and it's been so much fun meeting all the new people! We literally have at least someone new come out every week.
If you haven't participated in the Week by Week CSA yet, you should!! If you haven't emailed us to request to be on the email list, that's the first step. After that, you'll get an email every Monday evening between 8 and 10 with more information for that week's vegetables. If you'd like a box, reply quickly! We've been filling up our spots on Monday night pretty consistently these days. :)
In short, the Week by Week CSA allows you to get local, Certified Naturally Grown seasonal vegetables at a VERY good price ($20 a week). That's amazing when you see what all you will get with each pick up. This differs from the traditional CSA because there is no commitment involved. You can pick and choose the weeks you would like to come pick up.
It's pretty overwhelming to see the list of vegetables and wonder what you're going to do with all of it...or even what some of the stuff is. Believe me, I know! It's actually easier and less complicated to cook with fresh vegetables, and seasonally, once you get the hang of it. We send a newsletter to those of you who are getting a box with more detail on the vegetables and some preparation ideas and recipes, which really helps when you're trying to figure out what to do with everything. Other great resources are allrecipes.com and Google! You can google just about any vegetable we grow and find recipes for it. We also have recipes listed on our website...and you can always email or call us as well! We love to help and have tons of ideas, since we cook like this every day!!!
Let us know if you have any questions at all about the week by week CSA, and we hope to see
We have been slacking on writing blogs lately, but it has been busy here at 47 Daisies! This time of year is a little bit of a down time on the farm for us....sort of. The work slows down in the garden beds in the late fall and winter, but Dylan always finds plenty of other projects to keep him busy. So far this fall, he's cleared out the power line on the property (which includes a large portion of the driveway) and added some really cool updates to the barn. In addition, we're still going strong with the Week by Week CSA!
In our "non-farming" life...if there is such a thing...we love this time of year. We had a great Thanksgiving here and enjoyed the company of my parents who traveled from Kentucky. We are looking forward to Christmas as well, as we'll be spending it with Dylan's mom and two of his siblings (and their families). We are so excited to see so much of our family that we don't get to see often enough!!!!
In other news....Basil started walking last week, which has made everything more complicated for the time being. On the flip side, he'll be able to run around in the gardens in no time at all!!
Hope to see you out at the farm soon!
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )