It’s been a busy few weeks for us making preparations for the fall: we have most of the fall transplants in the ground, our first round of direct seeded salad greens are coming along nicely and should be ready in a week or two, and we’re continuing our experimentation with pea & sunflower shoots. If the current batch of shoots goes well, then we’ll have some in next week’s box. We’ve also had a series of ordeals with pest security. A severe lightning storm knocked out our deer fence charger several weeks ago. We replaced it relatively quickly, but it was amazing to see how almost immediately after the fence was no longer electrified, deer started getting through the fence to browse on our pepper plants and chomp the tender, young, fall transplants. We simultaneously were waging a prolonged war with some groundhogs that had moved into several far flung corners of our field. We think we’ve won both of these battles — fingers crossed — and haven’t seen signs of either deer or groundhog in the past week, so hopefully the fall veggies can grow in peace. And we really lucked out this weekend with Florence mostly missing us. We had some minor flooding in the field, but other than roughing up our huge okra plants I don’t think it did any crop damage, so that is a huge relief!
Right now the list of available produce looks much as it did at the end of the summer, with the significant addition of sweet potatoes. We’ve also added Long Island Cheese Pumpkins which can be used for both the seeds and the flesh like a pie pumpkin, and can be roasted, steamed, boiled, eaten with or without the skin, and are great in both savory and sweet dishes. In the next couple of weeks we should start harvesting bok choy, arugula, lettuces, baby kale, radishes, and after that a wider variety of greens and roots. And hopefully the peppers, okra, and eggplant will continue to provide us with a taste of summer until the first frosts arrive in October. One item on the list that you might want to learn more about is sweet potato greens. Not very many people eat sweet potato greens in our culture, though they’ve long been a traditional green in Asia and Africa, and are a great source of vitamin K and vitamin A. You can find a list of culinary ideas at on Epicurious.