A week ago we were baking in the scorching 98 degree dry heat with our eyes on the forecast for mild weather ahead. Now we are grateful for the autumnal weather that allows our fall crops to thrive. Two months of above-average heat and below-average (far below average!) precipitation brought stress to plants and farmers alike. Round-the-clock irrigation minimized the losses in our fields, but we couldn’t keep irrigating at that rate indefinitely. This break in the weather was fortunate as were about to be forced to cut irrigation to a number of crops that we really didn’t want to lose. Temps dropped more than 40 degrees in 36 hours and we’ve been celebrating ever since. Let us know when we stop smiling at our cold hands and remind us to enjoy the cold!
The dry heat has meant we’ve had delicious Tomatoes and Sweet Peppers into mid-October. The cost of that was fewer Salad greens, cooking greens, and roots than usual for this time of year…but the fall crops are catching up now that the weather is more favorable for them. (Though – our area still needs some good rain.) Wouldn’t it be so boring if every season were exactly the same? At times we envy the predictability and stability of operations in which vegetables are grown in an uber-controlled greenhouse. But we know we would eventually get frustrated if we were to grow in an artificial environment such as that. We got into farming because we love the earth and the changes of seasonality. Parts of ourselves enjoy the challenges and the triumphs and the comebacks after setbacks.
Despite the infrequent newsletters, we have continued on throughout this season with all of our usual shenanigans — Our Farm Share members have been getting a nice selection of vegetables (and flowers and breads…) to choose from for their customized shares. Our FarmStand (at our farm; self serve) has been brimming with options and has served western Chesterfield with a fabulously unconventional way to get our vegetables any day of the week. The online farmers’ market (Fall Line Farms/Local Roots Co-op) continues to be a way for customers as far north as Ashland and as far south as Farmville to access our vegetables. Good Foods Grocery, Ellwood Thompson’s, and Union Market continue to buy produce from us. And the anchor of our market farm is our booth at the Farmers’ Market @St. Stephens each Saturday morning – year round! Shopping hours are currently 9-12, and the market will move inside the first Saturday in December.
Whether you shop from us weekly or you haven’t gotten to enjoy our vegetables in a while, we hope you’ll visit us this weekend through one means or another. We’d like to think of ourselves as a steady presence here in our community. The vegetables change with the season and the weather patterns, but you can trust that we are here, managing soil and plants to the best of our ability to continue to provide you with goodness – all Certified Naturally Grown and all grown right here on our farm, by us. See you soon!
Before the week’s harvest list, please see here:
** Farm to Table Open Fire Cooking Class – Saturday, Oct 26 by the talented Rebecca Suerdieck of 17th Century Virginia Cooking. Prepare a meal from our vegetables and partner farms’ meat and dairy, all over an open fire. See event details on Facebook and on her website. Registration is through her website.
** Hand Crafts – Leather Stitching/Wood Carving/Blacksmithing – Nov 8-10 by Peter Yencken & Paul Cipriani. Choose from a wide variety of projects in this transformative and very unconventional workshop. The instructors balance multiple participants and diverse projects with grace, humor, and artistry. Event details on Facebook. Registration via email to us and payment of deposit to instructors.
This week’s harvest includes…
Beets, Broccoli, Broccoli Greens, Cabbage, Eggplant (Fairy Tale and Italian round), Flowers for bouquets, Garlic, Baby Ginger!, Jalapeno peppers that are NOT spicy, Lettuce, Microgreens, Okra, Shishito Peppers, Summer Squash, Sweet Peppers, Tomatoes (slicing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and roma/paste tomatoes), Kale, Radishes, Turnips, …plus our Breads that we bake Saturday morning…this week’s varieties are Seed Loaf, Herb (Rosemary and Thyme), Raisin & Cinnamon, Whole Rye, and Baguettes.
We have veggie delights in our FarmStand at our farm, open and self-serve from 9a-7p (or dusk…whichever is earlier) daily. Plus, we’ll bring these items on Saturday to the Farmer’s Market @ St. Stephen’s – which is outside in the parking lot from 9-12.
Keep an eye on what we have available via Richmond’s only online farmers’ market: FallLineFarms.com.