Our first real frost covered our ground today, leaving behind a few plants in it’s wake. I am getting ready to pick the Bedford CSA shares today, Much of it has been picked yesterday in order to avoid shortages.
This had been an interesting year in so many ways! We had been accepted to the Allegany County Farmer’s Market after 11 years of applying and being refused. This was a big surprise to us and caught us off guard slightly. We have been applying since 2001, only to be turned away by the board for various unknown reasons. Apparently many vendors had left the market over the course of time, and they finally decided to let someone new in. We managed, but I feel like much of the year could have been better had we known before May that the Farmer’s Market would accept us. Se La Vie!
We had some issues in our gardens that we have never before encountered. Harlequin beetles decided to come and live on our farm. I have never had the pleasure of dealing with these creatures before this year. They totally wiped out all of our brassicas- broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and the likes. I will be ready for them next year and hopefully be better prepared to save our broccoli! Also, some of our tomatoes got damaged by late blight. We had three gardens with tomatoes, and two areas were affected. Last year our potatoes were completely wiped out, but we had made some changes and our potatoes did wonderful this year, as you all got to see the benefits. Next year I am preparing to make changes to help our tomato harvest, with hopes that these changes will result in equal surpluses of delicious tomatoes.
We are also getting ready for our second annual “Farm to Table Dinner.” Ironically, just yesterday, my stove decided to just stop working. So our dinner will be prepared completely without the use of electricity. What fun! Seriously though, I have a wonderful, wood burning cook stove that will be used for preparing the meal. I love it! It actually has more cooking space available to prepare the quantities of food we’ll be serving to our wonderful shareholders, and I’m prepared to use it!
This leads me to tell you about one of our many projects we have lined up for the winter- we are renovating our kitchen for commercial use. I’m not so sad that my stove bit the dust only because it’s days were numbered anyway. We have drawings and design done by Spectrum Design out of Frostburg, MD to totally revamp our current kitchen into a home based commercial kitchen. This will greatly expand the products we may offer to you, and to others in the area! Did I mention baked goods, or preserves? How exciting!
The frost is sad in a way, but it’s the time of year for this to happen. It gives us a chance to regroup and plan for the next season. It gives us the opportunity to work towards expanding our products and make the products we have more bountiful.
One thing I know about this type of work is- I never stop learning- I never know it all- and as long as I keep that in mind, I can keep improving upon what I’m doing.
I will stay in touch with you all this winter!