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Snug as a bug in a rug
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Fall is definitely here. Rain. Cooler days and nights. Shorter days and longer nights.
The cooler weather means we start closing up the tunnels. Doors are shut (some with questionable methods) and sides are rolled down. Everything is nice and cozy.
(Why do we say “snug as a bug in a rug” like it’s a good thing? I don’t want bugs in my rugs, and definitely not snug ones.)
Even on this grey rainy day, the tunnel is 10 degrees warmer than outside, and that’s with no supplemental heat. This thermometer is also at ground level; it’s even warmer higher up!
This tunnel houses the tomatoes and peppers, both heat-loving plants (and sorrel, but that’s a flexible crop). And they are quite content. Production slows down of course. It is cooler and there is less light. But the plants are still chugging out tomatoes and peppers at a reasonable rate.
This cooler weather and shorter days also means it’s time to break out the heat mats and grow lights for the germination trays.
While this tunnel will get heated, we’re… economical… and don’t like to heat the tunnels any more than we need to (the heating bill is cra-zy). Plus, even more important than air temperature is soil temperature. With the soil kept warm by the heat mat, we don’t need to heat the tunnel as much, keeping our costs down.
We’re all noticing the shorter days. The sun doesn’t help with getting you up in the morning and it’s dark a blink after you get home in the evening. The plants notice the shorter days too. And plants don’t like to grow without adequate sunlight (that’s why plants don’t really grow in December and January, even if it is warm enough).
So we trick them and use grow lights so that the plants – seedlings specifically – can get their 10 hours of “daylight” each day.
We’re picking some very pretty chiogga and golden beets right now.
Part of the fact of life for beets is that some are going to split while in the ground. This happens when the inside of the beet grows faster than the outside, causing the skin to break and cracks to form.
These cracked beets unfortunately aren’t salable (or giveaway-able) but it does mean I can cut a bunch open guilt-free to make a beet bouquet for my Grandmother, who loves beets. And since I am such am awesome gift-picker-outer, she loved them, and wanted more!
Also, public service announcement, if you think “maybe I should put boots on,” go put them on. Don’t believe you when you tell yourself that you’ll stay out of the mud. It won’t happen. You’ll completely forget you don’t have boots on and tromp on out to the beet field without a care in the world. And then you’ll spend the rest of the day with mud all over your pant legs. Wear the boots. That is all.
Now taking orders for Thanksgiving
I know it may seem like Thanksgiving is a long ways off… but it isn’t. And our order deadline is even closer (39 days – November 9th).
You may believe in not allowing holidays to get out of order. But if you wait until after Halloween to start thinking of Thanksgiving, that’ll give you only 9 days to figure out what you want and to place your order.
So it’s time to start figuring out who is coming to dinner and what you want to serve (if you are the guest, please don’t wait until a few days before Thanksgiving to let the host/hostess know your plans).
In addition to the turkeys – whole birds and parts – we also have ducks and geese available for your main centerpiece.
You’ll still need to cook the bird, and several other dishes. But we can take two of those dishes off your cooking list with our freshly made cranberry sauce and cornbread.
And then you can finish the meal off with one of our pies or cream cheese rolls.
Pick up is available at the farm the Saturday through Wednesday before Thanksgiving or at 20th & South-ish in Philadelphia the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
You can see the list of offerings and order both in-store and online.
Some seasonal inspiration:
Fall-Spiced BBQ Chicken Pizza (cook along with the free live online class on October 6th)
Onion and Green Tomato Pizza
Ridiculously Easy Rosemary Shortbread
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