We had some pretty legitimate frosts on the farm over the weekend. It's definitely on the earlier side for first frost, but we were prepared. Our salad mix lettuces and sugar snap peas are the most susceptible crops that we are still trying to harvest. We were able to row cover the lettuces and they came through completely fine. Unfortunately, we can't row cover the peas since they are on a trellis and some of those pods did sustain some frost damage. Honestly, it's mostly cosmetic damage from a light frost, but I was bummed as this crop had just started to come on. It looks like it's going to be even colder early next week, so we'll pick what we can and have it available to add on or swap into your share since we won't be able to have enough for all of the shares next week. The tomatoes and peppers in the hoophouses survived, but they are all looking pretty tired after a long season. We harvested out all of our specialty peppers (banana, poblano, jalapeno and aji rico peppers) on Monday and those are in your shares this week. Next week we'll start pulling out the tomato plants and the sweet peppers. There aren't many colored peppers on the plants right now, but it looks like a decent amount of green peppers, so those will likely appear in next week's shares.
We were pretty happy with our sweet potato crop this year. A groundhog had set up shop in the back of the farm where the sweet potatoes were growing and chomped a decent amount of leaves off the plants through the season. Luckily, it stayed close to the front of the beds so the plants in the back were able to grow and flourish and we were able to harvest some pretty good potatoes back there. We're never sure how bad the vole damage will be on this crop before we start digging, and thankfully that wasn't too bad this year either. Last year was the worst year we've had with voles munching on all sorts of crops, so I'm thankful that their population seems to have diminished this year. They are a really difficult pest to control, especially because we use minimal tillage and lots of tarps around the farm. This makes a pretty perfect habitat for these mouse-like creatures. Luckily, the tarps also create a nice habitat for snakes too :) The only good thing about the voles is that they keep our planting beds nice and loose with their tunnels.
I'd bet you are relieved to see more root crops and fewer greens in your share this week! I know it was a lot with the napa cabbage and bok choy a couple of weeks in a row. Both of those crops were just so beautiful this year though! In any case, I think you'll have an easier time using the veggies this week and can hopefully catch up on what's still in your fridge. I just have one recipe idea for you this week. Try roasting your sweet potato with taco seasonings and make sweet potato black bean tacos! You can use a mix of your specialty peppers in here too. If you want, lightly pickle the banana and aji rico peppers together to soften some of the heat in the ajis. Here's a recipe link for ideas: