Hail the Rutabaga

{His royal highness of fall, the sweet and savory rutabaga}

Rutabaga is the herald of a new season. It is always quietly growing and becoming ever more voluminous while we go about the wild and wooly task of staying on top of summer harvests. Then, once we have cleared out our squash, carrots, and cabbage, there it is, mysteriously enormous and so delicious. Creamier than any mashed potato could ever dream of, with a rich sweet and savory flavor that is arguably far superior, we’re big fans. And they’re BIG veggies! What a root! The leaves are nothing to sneeze at either, often a couple of feet long.

{Succulent honey nut squash finishing its ripening in the hoophouse}

Despite the official arrival of autumn, and a few decidedly chilly nights, summer is reluctant to let go of its hold on the weather, with plenty of warmer days in store for a little while yet. All the same, change is in the air! We’re harvesting winter treats like the aforementioned rutabaga, our coolers are bursting with carrots and cabbage, and the trees are starting to turn colors. Jasper, resident farm baby, is walking all over the place and eager to discover every nook and cranny of the farmhouse and beyond (just a couple of months ago he was figuring out standing!). We’re in the midst of fall cleaning – tidying up the fields by mowing down sections of the field we’ve harvested, pulling up drip tape and taking down trellises. The same goes for the farmhouse, getting ourselves organized for a winter that will be spent mostly right here, gathered around the woodstove for heat and comfort (speaking of which, also ordering wood!). We’re all homebodies by nature, and love the warm community right here at home.

{A patch of grass all gone to seed}

Most of the seed crops have also been harvested, and we have lots and lots of tarps covered with plants finishing their dry down, pushing the last of their stored energy into the seeds. Beets, leeks, onions, kales, and much, much more are promising pounds and pounds of seed for the coming year(s). A pound might not sound like much, until you realize just how many seeds that can be. It takes over 100,000 onion seeds to make a pound (kale, 120,000!). And in a month or so we’ll be putting in a few thousand bulbs of garlic for next year’s harvest! Not exactly seeds, but still an inevitable signifier of the seasons shifting.

-Dennis 9/28/17