And our wonderful customers still came to market! Rain can change the market turnout drastically. Enough rainy days can change the bottom line for us. So we are so grateful and appreciative that folks braved the storms and came out to get their local vegetables. After all, when its raining people still eat (potentially more) and the vegetables still grow.
In other weather news, there is another frost on the horizon and this one is surely going to be more extensive than the ice crystals that dotted our farm a few weeks ago. Ten days from now, the nighttime temperature in our area is supposed to dip to 26° F. Ooooh man, that is a steep decline. We take that with a grain of salt and a prescription for preparedness. We have been readying ourselves for it all the while: gathering hoops and sand bags, collecting frost blankets. It is, after all, time for the seasons to change.
And because of the weather? Well, because of the rain, we have to wait a little to use the tractor in the field. One tractor job on the docket is digging those potatoes. We finally figured out how to adjust our potato plow to get under the tubers without slicing them (mostly). The result?! Much time and spinal capital saved! The other tractor tasks: mowing down old crops and discing up the ground to plant our garlic and even more cover crop. I am excited because we found a local farmer that raises all kinds of organic cover crop seed. I like this much better than getting seed from Minnesota. The plants are more adapted to our local conditions, we get to support our local economy, and of course, reduced shipping costs, which really counts when you are getting upwards of 1000 pounds of seed!
All the ryegrass and crimson clover that we seeded a month ago, admittedly a couple weeks late, is both benefiting and in peril by the weathers omnipotent hand. The at-last-rain helped the seeds finally germinate and sprout. The grass stands as a blanket of needle thin blades about two inches tall. The clover is only cotyledons, the first leaves to emerge for a plant. But the frost is a threat! Neither of these plants are reliably frost hardy and we were hoping to have a little more growth than this before winter. We will see though. Some Michigan growers in our zone have experienced over-wintering of both the clover and the rye grass. This is one of those comes-with-experience moments. All we can do now is keep good notes.
Beyond watching the weather, this time of year we sample and test our soil to see what all our efforts are amounting to. Although we grow vegetables (and maybe eventually fruit!) our real capital is in the soil. We care for the vegetables by caring for the soil and this means keeping track of organic matter, macro and micronutrients, pH, and microbial activity in the soil. We sample in the fall so that we can use the winter to plot a course of best action and we sample annually so we can compare year to year how our actions are affecting the land. This is our second annual sampling, so I will be sure to let you know what we find!
As far as crops go, all our fall crops are moving along. We just had our first smattering of Brussels sprouts and more are on the way. We are preparing storage areas to tuck our harvest away. Transforming our Michigan basement into a root cellar for wintersquash and sweet potatoes, and dropping the temperature of our big storage container to a chilly 33° to accommodate those that like it cool. We have two hoop houses planted and two to go (one to build first!). We are steely, we are determined, we are ready-ish. We are happy and laughing and ready to remember how to marvel at the beauty of the world, rather than just stumbling around in a harried, sleep deprived state. With that in mind, check out these mushroom pictures also a gift from the rain!
Thank you for all the support and love!
See you at market!
TOMATO SALE CONTINUES!
- "Seconds" (less than perfect but still perfectly delicious) are $2 per pound or a full tray for $20
- 5+ pounds of tomatoes of your choice $2.50 per pound
- 10+ pounds of tomatoes of your choice $2.00 per pound
- 3 pints of Cherry Tomatoes for only $8
Fresh from the field
Beets by the pound
Carrot by the pound
Greens: Arugula, mizuna, mustard, tatsoi, Tokyo bekana (bok choi lettuce), Salad Mix, spinach,
Snack peppers: perfect for a snack, a lunch, or go gourmet and stuff them with fine cheeses!
Winter squash: Acorn, Delicata, Spaghetti, Red Kuri & Long Pie!
Turnips - classic
Tomatoes- lots of heirlooms
*We send this email out before harvest, and although we do our very best to make accurate predictions, crops and quantities found at market may vary.
All the best!
Helen, Jim, Exie the dog, and the Lake Divide Farm Crew!
Markets, always rain or shine!
(we begin attending on dates listed above)
Wednesday: Ann Arbor
The Ann Arbor Market is located in the Kerrytown District at 315 Detroit St, Ann Arbor, MI. The market runs from May thru December from 7 am to 3 pm.
The Stockbridge Open Air Market is located on the square in downtown Stockbridge. It runs from May thru October from 4 pm to 7 pm
Saturday: Ann Arbor and Chelsea
The Ann Arbor Market is located in the Kerrytown District at 315 Detroit St, Ann Arbor, MI. The market runs from May thru December, 7 am to 3 pm and January thru April from 8 am to 3 pm.
The Chelsea Farmers' Market is located in the lower library lot along Park St. It runs May thru October from 8 am to 1 pm.
The Howell Farmers' market can be found in the heart of Howell at State st and Clinton st, adjacent to the historic Livingston County Courthouse. It runs May thru October, 9 am to 2 pm.