The end is near. 😦 We got hit with an overnight frost on September 15 (almost the same day as last year!) and despite our best efforts of covering sensitive crops, we lost our squash and beans. The plants in the hoop house fared a bit better, but were still hurt. We went out the next day and harvested all the unripened butternut squash and green tomatoes before it was too late, so they can mature indoors.
You can ripen squash (at least butternut squash) by placing them near a sunny window until the stripes fade away and they turn a nice peachy shade, maybe for a week or two. After that they can be stored for months in a cool, dark place. For the best flavor, we won’t be eating ours until at least November.
Likewise, all our green tomatoes have been wrapped up in newspaper and stored in a dark cupboard until they fully ripen (usually 2-4 weeks). The garlic we harvested a month ago will be stored until it’s ready to go back into the ground, probably early to mid-October, where it will do its thing until next July/August when it’s done.
We’ll be doing a final harvest of storage onions this week, soon to be available during our last weeks at the farmers markets along with a variety of carrots, lettuce & salad mix, and crisp radishes. If farmer’s luck smiles upon us, we’ll also have a final crop of specialty beets and fingerling potatoes. Fingers, um, crossed. 🙂
Our new garden washing station is up and running and boy do we love it! (And by we I mean me.) We finally installed a water hydrant right beside the House Garden, which is now providing water to the new station and is streamlining operations to a degree I can’t even describe. Any gardener/farmer who has added any sort of time-saving improvement to their farm, no matter how small or simple, knows what I’m talking about!
In other news, we got a new farm sign! The original sign was old & weathered so it got a paint job last year but it just didn’t last. It was time for something new, so I had a replacement made by North Idaho Concepts in Athol and we absolutely love it. The new sign is wood-burned and sealed to protect it from the elements and should last for years to come. Need a professional wooden sign or custom woodwork for your farm or garden? Contact Josh Spencer at North Idaho Concepts at 928-246-2564, we highly recommend his work.