9/22/17 - Week 15 - Fall Changes

Happy Equinox everyone and Hello, Fall!  

At 1:05 PM PST today the Earth wobbled it's middle straight in line with the sun... and at that moment a loud collective "WOOHOO!" could be heard emanating from the Northern Hemisphere. That would be the farmers. 

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The coming of Fall is a special time on a farm for so many reasons. For a farmer in a place as hot as California, the coming of Fall could be likened to the breaking of winter and the coming of spring in a place like Maine. The soft Fall light feels like balm on sun-scorched skin. The Fall also brings with it the big field harvests -- the joy and satisfaction of reaping a season's worth of work in the form of food (onions, potatoes, corn, winter squash) that will sustain and nourish friends and loved ones throughout the winter. (We hope you can make it to one of the most celebratory of these harvests, the potato, on the 30th!) Fall also signifies rest! While there are big pushes to be made bringing in these harvests and putting the fields to bed, some much needed farmer R&R is on the horizon.

 A monarch u-picking some zinnia nectar

A monarch u-picking some zinnia nectar

Change is afoot in the plant and animal worlds as well. This past week, a mysterious internal switch seems to have been flipped in our summer crops; Eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer and winter squash all have slowed their growth markedly. So it begins; one by one the sweet, tangy, cacophonic flavors and colors of the summer share will be replaced by the rich earthy tones of Fall. In the animal kingdom, the baby Turkeys we first glimpsed as tiny fluff balls in the grass in June have matured into birds nearly indistinguishable from their parents -- with a corresponding appetite for our lettuce. Indeed, Turkey, Deer, and Hare all seemed to have developed a voracious appetite for farm fare lately as they forage for sustenance in this, the driest, hungriest season in the wild between late summer and the first rains. If these signs of Fall weren't enough... we've been spotting many a Monarch butterfly in the u-pick garden; that Autumnal traveler who, fleeing Winter, migrates South to warmer abodes in Mexico and Southern California. Keep your eyes open next time you're up there. They love zinnias.

We're so glad we'll get to share this Fall, and the special magic it will bring, with each of you this year.

See you in the fields, D&K

THIS WEEKS HARVEST: 

Yukon Gold Potatoes, Cured Cabernet Onions, Heirloom and New Girl Tomatoes, Krimzon Lee Hot Peppers, Sweet Peppers, Summer Squash, Easter Egg Radishes, Striped Armenian Cucumbers, Italian Eggplant (still going!), Broccoli and Broccolini, Murdoch Cabbage, Mixed Beets, Celery, Rainbow Carrots, Red Russian Kale, Dino Kale,"Space" Baby Spinach, Fall Braising Mix with Baby Kale and Ethiopian Mustard Greens, Tatsoi and Baby Chard, Red Butter / Trout Back / and Rouxai Head Lettuce

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U-PICK in the GARDEN: Pesto Basil, Dragon Tongue Romano Beans (still a good amount near the middle and back of the row), Frying Peppers, Padrones, JalapeƱos, Husk Cherries, all herbs and flowers. No limit on Dahlias.

PRESERVING OPPORTUNITIES:

Pesto: We have a ton of Genovese Italian Basil in the garden. The second succession (in the Eastern half of the garden by the new flower beds) is flowering and needs to be turned into pesto. If you haven't made pesto this summer yet, or if you'd like to make a second batch, you are welcome to harvest entire plants into a large bag. We'll mark the location of this flowering bed with a colored flag and note in on the chalkboard so you can find it.

Cabbages: Cabbages will be no-limit and they do not have to fit in your bag... you may take as many as you'll use to make a preserve! Check out Week 10's newsletter for our favorite simple kraut recipe.

GOODIES FOR SALE:

In our barn: 

-Hawk Hill Homemade Sourdough Bread: Fresh Country loaves will be available this Saturday. Frozen loaves are available the white freezer in our barn on Tuesdays. $8/loaf, self-serve cash box.

In the creamery:

  • Eggs: The hens at Hands Full Farm have resumed laying and you can find eggs for sale again in the creamery (silver) fridge on your right as you enter.
  • Dairy: to pick-up milk and cheese raised and crafted right here on the land, join the Bramble Tail Herdshare program. For details, email Aubrie at brambletailhomestead@gmail.com
  • Beef: The creamery freezer is now stocked with ground and stew beef from steers raised on the pastures surrounding the farm.
  • Whole Chickens: Raised by Parade the Land just down the road in Graton, also in the creamery freezer.
  • Firefly Chocolates
  • Herbal Remedies by Aubrie

POTATO HARVEST 2017! We'd like to invite you to a treasure hunt wherein you'll dig, sort, and bag up the best buried treasure there is -- potatoes!

  • When: Next Saturday, September 30th at 10:30 am (we'll run harvest pick-up simultaneously)
  • Where: On the farm just next to the cherry tomatoes
  • What now? A potato harvest! We'll bust the potatoes up out of the ground with a tractor implement and then need all the hands we can get to help us bag them up, sort them, dig for any still buried, and bring 'em on home (into the cooler). If there is time, will harvest the Painted Mountain Corn as well.
  • What-to-bring: Clothes you don't mind getting dirty. Water, sunhat, snacks, and a brunchy-lunhcy treat to share if it's easy (not required).