03 September 2006

Two months since I have managed to write anything about farming or anything else for that matter. August and September comprise the busiest time of my year. This week, safely into October, we had two killing frosts at the farm. We were ready--the squash and pumpkins harvested and bushels of sweet and hot peppers and eggplant and the last of the tomatoes. All in all a good season.

The best tomatoes . . .Black Krim, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Cherokee Purple, Jaune Flammee, Yellow Brandywine, Brandywine and also notable . . . Golden Queen, Ivory Queen, Arkansas Traveller, Rose de Berne, Jubilee, Spear's Tennessee Green, Amish Paste, Speckled Roman, Hungarian Heart, Purple Calabash and some others that I would give mixed reviews but I plan to keep growing . . . Paul Robeson, Persimmon, White Beauty, Eva Purple Ball, Garden Peach, Evergreen, Mark Twain, German Orange Strawberry, Black Plum, Glacier, Kellog's Breakfast, Porter Improved and a few I probably won't grow again . . . Green Zebra, Rutgers, Black, Ruby Gold, Golden Sunray.

The best melons . . . Edonis, Touchdown, Earliqueen, Pulsar, (hybrids) and Annanas d'Amerique, Vert Grimpant, Haogen, Golden Gopher, Eden's Gem, Gris de Rennes, Piel de Sappo, Prescot Fond Blanc. It was a tough year for melons--too cold and wet but still the flavors were amazing and inspiring. The French have the best heirlooms . . . I can't wait to try more next year.

We bought a hoop house kit--30'x96'--to grow heirloom tomatoes and maybe a few melons. The August issue of Travel and Leisure was very complimentary of our heirloom tomatoes and they really seemed to sell well this year. So hopefully, the new hoophouse will ensure an earlier crop and protection from damaging rain storms.

We got a bushhog, too. It sure cleans the place up. For a little while there at the end of August it looked like someone elses farm--way too weed free and tidy. Savor the sweetness of the fall carrots, the greens and turnips, the cold air captured in the chicories, the spinach and arugula. Welcome, fall.