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from the Field

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October 21, 2018
Winds of Change
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

Solitary sunflower in a sea of buckwheat, oats, and daikon radish cover crop.
The monsoon season having departed, we're now entering the windy frosty season. So far we had two very light frosts and are hopeful for nothing too heavy too soon. Tomatoes are out of the field as well as the tunnels but we still have sweet and hot peppers rolling in from outside. These are the last of the summer crops that we're coaxing along, plants that may succumb to a hard frost. Traditional fall crops tolerate light frost but when temperatures begin to dip below freezing damage can occur on unprotected leaf tips of greens. We have low and high tunnels to carry us along so we're not overly concerned but don't want to have to contend just yet with frostbite on our fingertips as we harvest.
Sweet potato distribution commences this week and we're pleased that we had good yields of such a tasty and nutritious crop during this most difficult of growing seasons. We grow these in very high raised beds which probably allowed for their success due to increased drainage ability. After curing in a warm and humid room for a couple of weeks they're now ready to be eaten, so sweet and delicious are they.
We're slowly filling up our four tunnels with fall and winter greens. Within the next 2-3 weeks they'll be filled to capacity with spinach, lettuce mix, kale, arugula, mizuna, cilantro, and greens mix. We make four succession plantings to spread out the harvest. Additionally, we erected low tunnels in the field to cover more than 1000 feet of beds of greens we're hoping to speed along for a harvest in 2-3 weeks. Do crops grow faster with sun and lower temperatures or heavy clouds, mist, and warmer temperatures?
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