What's in the Box?
From The North Farm
Cauliflower or Broccoli
Notes From the Field
I've told a few people lately that we are entering what I call the Fall Overwhelm. This is probably not correct grammar, but it gets to the point. We are at the point in the season when the big harvests begin/continue - carrots, beets, potatoes, onions - while we still try to find time to sneak in planting some of the fall and winter crops. For example, the other day we began by planting all of next year's strawberries, which was approximately 4,000 plants, then transitioned into harvesting some of the storage onions that we will clean and pack over the winter months. Most of the year, there are long to-do lists at the farm, but it is this time of year when they get extra long, and also consist of all sorts of tasks, including harvesting, planting, field clean up, prepping for winter, etc. It is a lot of fun, but it sure is a lot of work!
It also is one of the most satisfying times of year, too. I know I have mentioned the fact that the big fall harvests are some of my favorite tasks, but it goes a little beyond that. Fall and the coming winter allow us a moment to think back on the season and analyze what went well, what was a challenge, and what we hope to change for the coming season. I know we have mentioned that this year has been particularly challenging for growers in the UP, mainly due to cool temperatures and excessive rain. This serves as a data point in the set that forces us to consider ways of building in resilience for when the next bad year comes. These are sometimes hard lessons to learn, but they will inevitably make us better growers.
So when I take a moment to sit back and think about the season, I can't help but dream of new varieties, more refined schedules, improved systems, and tastier food for next year. Perhaps this is a bit premature, but when it comes to farming, everything is measured on a long-term scale, so next year already feels like it is right around the corner!
However, let's not get ahead of ourselves. We hope you enjoy this week's box. It includes some of my absolute favorites, most notably Brussel Sprouts. I prefer them small, as they are at this point in the season, because there is no need to halve them before steaming or roasting. Just toss them in some oil and roast them whole. This will also likely be the last week of tomatoes, though we might try to sneak in some green ones next week. We hoped you liked the varieties we grew this year - please let us know if there were any that stuck out for you!
As always, thanks for your support. We hope you have been enjoying your shares each week, and feel free to use the link at the bottom of the newsletter to give us any feedback.
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The North Farm is a research, education, and production farm located in the central Upper Peninsula.