We have all of our crops for the back half of the year planted out, with the weeds are mostly well under control. Winter cover crops are planted and growing, which help build the soil up for next year's vegetables. By next week the greenhouse will be 100% planted to veggies we aim to harvest in the dead of winter, and so it's that time of year we turn to get a whole miscellany of other projects, that are hard to find time for in the busy season, but that we want to get done before it's too cold to work long hours outside.
Two projects currently at the top of our list (because working with steel pipes in freezing weather is not fun): We're working to re-purpose the frame of an old big 96' hoophouse that Hurricane Irene destroyed into a machine shed, and finally have a place to park all of our equipment out of the weather. We also acquired a used 14' x 50' greenhouse this summer, that was hastily torn down and moved to our farm in July. We plan to re-construct it near the house, in order to have a heated seedling house for growing our veggie starts in the spring. Hopefully that means I won't be growing tomato and pepper seedlings in the spare bedroom of our house anymore, and we might even be able to accommodate a house guest or two. Re-use it, re-cycle it, re-purpose it; nothing ever gets thrown out as trash on a farm!
Loads of lettuce this week, both our carefully washed and dried baby salad mix, as well as sweet crunchy heads of romaine. We usually think of spring as 'salad season,' but fall brings it back around for a second taste! Add some thinly sliced sweet fennel bulbs to your salads for a treat, or if you feel like stashing things away for winter, a fennel bulb or two is a tasty addition to fish or poultry stocks. The first few early broccoli plants are starting to head up - we have a limited amount this week, but should have a better supply by next week. And get those peppers while you can! Old man winter teased us with a near-frost this morning; the peppers are still coming in strong, but aren't likely to last much longer.