It is my last month in this beautiful place. Today at the farm, we had our second-to-last CSA. The CSA share is so small compared to what is was in midsummer! Here’s a list of what each CSA member got:
Sweet Bell Peppers
We harvested a bunch yesterday morning, and finished it off this morning. I got to do napa cabbage for the first time! You have to grab the tops to test if they’re firm on the inside. If they are, you use a knife to slice the bottom of the cabbage head from the plant, effectively killing it– cabbage can only be harvested once, unlike kale and collards. Then you gently pick up the cabbage with both hands, as the leaves can easily slip off, and peel off any unwanted, worm-eaten layers to reveal a perfect napa cabbage. Some of them are bigger than a loaf of bread!
The day feels different in the fall. It is so dark when we stumble out our door in the morning that I sometimes reach for my cell phone to light the way ahead of me. When we get to the Beefer Shed and pull on our rainpants, we also put on hats and scarves and down vests. The dew on the plants is sometimes so cold that my hands numb until the sun comes up, and then everything is immediately warmer, and our layers come off and pile up on the back of the truck. The middle of the day feels hot, though wind blows through the fields, keeping us grateful for long sleeves. The afternoon sun sets earlier than it did in the summer, so we layer up again so that at 5 pm, we are wrapped up just like we were at 7 am.
Our tasks are entirely different than they were at the beginning of the season. We never weed anymore. We mostly harvest, clean garlic, and organize our pumpkins for the pick-your-own events. Today, we covered our most sensitive crops with remay (protective cloth) to keep the frost from the killing them. Oddly, it’s not incredibly heartbreaking to see the crops dying out one by one… we are all exhausted, emotionally, physically, spiritually… we need a break! With some twinges of sadness, I welcome the fall.