Hello Farm Followers!
Sadly, this post marks my last as a Zenger apprentice, but on the upside, October has been so glorious that there is much to report on!
Today is a good place to start, as this morning was devoted solely to the mass harvest of all the winter squash that have been sizing and ripening up all summer long. Pruners were used for the smaller squash, but the loppers got brought out for some of the biggin’s. We piled the squash together in the fields, and with the help of a school group tour, arranged a line of volunteers and tossed the squash up to the truck bed like sandbags or sacks of flour. Very efficient method. The loads were then brought to the greenhouse and are now stacked beautifully on table tops to cure before going into storage for the winter. There were a few damaged ones, as can be expected, but these can simply be sold for use immediately. Yum!
Also in the greenhouse, are onions and popcorn that volunteers have been helping us pull out of the fields. The popcorn must dry completely before it can be twisted off the cob and stored away for popping. Again, our volunteers will come in handy, as the twisting of kernals off the cob makes for an excellent winter activity when the weather turns more sour.
But since the weather is still grand, there are plenty of veggies still growing in the fields. Bellow, you can see our brassicas enjoying the summer afternoon weather, and the leeks coming out of the ground have beautiful white stalks and are just begging to be steamed of simmered in winter soups. We’ll have brassicas, leeks and more at this Sunday’s Lents Farmer’s Market, and since it’s the last of the season, be sure to come out and support your local farmers so they can come back again next year!
To finish, I’ll give you an update on our turkeys, who’ve been quite the superstars of the farm this year. We’ve less than a week now before they go in to meet their maker (and before they meet your Thanksgiving table). As a special treat, we moved their outdoor playpen into the empty winter squash field, and below you can see them happily exploring new territory. But fear not, the chickens are not getting the short end of the stick here. Tomorrow we will be moving their coop into the other greenhouse, nicknamed the “melon house” because this was where the melons were planted this year. With the melons all being past due, the melon house was set up to receive the chickens tomorrow, and the chickens were treated to a few of the overripe melons to give them a taste of what’s to come. For anyone who owns a chicken, melons are clearly their favorite treat, so we can only imagine how happy they’ll be.
Well, I think that’s it. Still lots to be done before the three of us say goodbye, so keep checking in, and thanks to everyone at Zenger farm for a truly amazing experience!