Sunday, September 20, 2009

First Frost

A quick glance at the pasture from the hallway window reveals a certain dullness; the grasses bent over and slightly gray. It's the hard evidence on the cars in the driveway that let me know that frost has arrived at the farm. This is the top of the truck with full fledged ice crystals.

Then I run around to the garden to see where else the 32 degrees touched down. (Yes, this is a little bit like Christmas morn' to me and Stacy!) When the frost happens on a still and windless night, and you see it first thing in the morning you can tell how the cold lay down over the ground like a blanket, not quite touching everything, with pockets of wet dew and tender plants still alive. At dawn, however, it can be deceptive: tender plants like this squash are green and alert. But once the sun thaws the ice crystals the cell walls of the plant collapse and a whole field of squash will go from green to black and brown.

The same plant later...

Most, but not quite all of the basil has bit the dust. There may still be time to salvage some for pesto.

Lettuce is fairly frost tolerant depending on the variety. We will drag out the row covers for the next few weeks until the first "freeze" sets in.

The Harvest:
Fingerling Potatoes
Daikon Radish

Fresh Soybeans are also known as Edamame. Quickly blanch the beans and take the peas out of the pods, sprinkle them with salt or soy sauce, and snack away.
Delicotta squash is one of our favorites. Back in June when there was no end to the rain, we had our doubts about all of the winter squash. We went ahead and seeded only the shortest season squash, including buttercup, butternut, spaghetti squash, baby blue hubbard and delicotta. We managed to get these varieties to barely produce enough to satisfy. But no pumpkins this year, along with a few other varieties that will have to wait till next year.

1 comment:

  1. For as much damage as the frost can do to your harvest, I have to say those pictures of the frost on the leaves are stunning.