This week’s box:
News from Ambassador Fridge:
The first cold night in late summer always takes me by surprise. I find myself shivering out in the field – sweaters and sweatshirts still packed away with winter clothes – every year. It’s hard to believe the season is already winding down. By mid-September, we’ll have sown the last of the quick/annual crops and in late October the seed garlic will go in, marking the end of our plantings for the year.
The planting spaces on our quarter-acre farm are a bit atypical. We designed our “fields” and planting systems to be as low maintenance as possible. We grow our main season crops (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers) in our hightunnel under burned plastic landscaping fabric, and reserve our precious outdoor spaces for shoulder season crops like carrots, herbs, onions, and greens.
Our raised beds are made out of two stacked courses of concrete blocks filled with compost. While concrete blocks are more expensive than wood, they should last forever and are movable in case we ever need to change the layout of the backyard. To protect seedlings and new transplants from opportunistic groundhogs and nesting cats, we cover the tops of the beds with 4’x 30’ rolls of 1/4” hardware cloth or old chain-link fence until plants are established. Once grown, we roll back the hardware cloth to harvest and give the plants a good stretch.
This week we’ll be seeding radishes, salad mix, spinach, and arugula. I’ll also get our sweaters out of storage. What fall crops are you planting in your garden?