Though we are near the end of our growing season, we are still busy with the those important tasks we do every fall. One very important thing we do is cover crop seeding. Each fall we
typically plant about 20 acres of cover crop.
Oats and peas are planted in early to mid September. These are the same kind of oats that we eat for breakfast. We plant them in open areas of the garden and they grow all autumn to about 1-2 feet tall. They winter kill and leave a protective layer of mulch that keeps the soil from eroding during winter and spring melts. Winter rye and hairy vetch, the same kind rye bread is made from, is another very important cover crop. Rye is seriously cold hardy, and can germinate at temperatures in the 30s. Unlike oats, rye lives through the winter, its massive root system holding on to soil and nutrients. Next spring rye begins growing rapidly and can
produce up to 10,000 lbs of biomass per acre. It’s really a weed that we have put to work for us.
Besides their soil-holding qualities, cover crops also provide some other important farm products. We can harvest straw for mulching the garden from the rye, and hay for feeding animals throughout the winter. With our combine harvester, we can also harvest the seeds, which we can use to plant for the next season.
Tomorrow: Garlic planting day
Garlic planting will be tomorrow, Thursday, October 19th at 2 PM. Join us for the afternoon or just an hour. We’ll be planting the garlic cloves, and covering it with straw mulch.
Mustard or Napa Cabbage
Mints, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Lemongrass
October 25: Last Wednesday CSA, last fresh chicken
October 28: Last Saturday CSA
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
Heat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the middle position. Whisk the dry ingredients and set aside. Mix everything else but butter and stir in dry mix. Add butter to a cast iron skillet and
heat in the oven for 2 minutes or until melted. Once melted, pour in batter and bake until golden and cracked, about half and hour. seriouseats.com
Chipotle Pumpkin Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo
8 cups cooked pumpkin
4-6 cups chicken stock, depending on thickness desired
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp lime juice
garnish: pepitas, cilantro, sour cream
Saute onions over medium high heat in a large pot in the oil. Add garlic, cumin and chipotle and cook another minute. Add pumpkin, stock, oregano, salt. Bring to a simmer, and cook
20 minutes partially covered. Remove from heat and puree soup. Add lime juice and more
seasoning to taste. Thin with more stock if needed. Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds, sour cream and cilantro.
A good use for those tougher outer stems.
3 oz butter
1 tbsp olive oil
10 oz chopped celery
4 oz diced onion
4 oz diced potato
2 pints chicken stock
Gently stew celery and onion in butter and oil in a covered pan 10 mins. Add potato and coat
well. Don’t let anything brown. Add stock and bring to a boil then simmer 30 minutes until very
tender. Blend the soup and season well. Ladle into bowls and swirl in a little cream.
"O Autumn, laden with
fruit, and stained
With the blood of the
grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof;
there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to
my fresh pipe;
And all the daughters of
the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song
of fruit and flowers.
- William Blake, To Autumn, 1783