It is getting colder. That’s obvious. Days are getting shorter too; daylight savings is a little over a week away and the sun will be going down by 5:30! A bit of a mental shock. On the farm, we are getting ready for life during the Iowa winter. This is pretty important as you never know how much snow will fall or how hard the wind will drift it or if the power will stay on. You have to prepare. We have already been covering tender vegetables with row cover fabric to protect them from night time frosts. The high tunnel is buttoned up tight, ready for the inevitable freeze to come. We have been cleaning beds of the old summer plants that have withered and dried to a woody, twisted stem. Peppers, tomatoes, pumpkin vines, old bean plants: all torn out by the roots–the fibrous parts thrown in a heap to be burned once dried (perhaps at winter solstice) and the soft rotten fruit dumped atop the compost pile to slowly decompose for next year’s garden. The stakes and cages and trellises gathered and organized and put away. We will use the fence posts from the tomato planting to erect a snow fence to our west, as well as our chicken transport coops to build a wall against the snow and wind. Strawberries, raspberries and garlic are covered with straw mulch and we have planted Jerusalem artichoke tubers as a new crop for next year. Indeed it is a transitional time.
However, we mustn’t forget we have one more farmers’ market to go! We will be there with eggs, chicken, chicken feet, chard, kale, collards, arugula, tatsoi, cilantro, beets, radishes, carrots, mustard greens, celery, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, garlic, onions, and potatoes. We hope to see you there.
We will be signing people up for our customer list in order to conduct our winter market. For those of you unfamiliar, we run a winter market from the time the Iowa City market ends until it starts up again in the spring. This year we will hold the market at Deluxe Bakery. It will run on Saturdays from 9-noon to start (we may adjust this as business dictates). The basic idea is that we will be there with whatever we have to sell. Those on our list will receive an availability announcement at the beginning of the week. Orders for said items will follow until that Friday at noon, or until items sell out. We come to Deluxe, you come to Deluxe, and an exchange is made! We will hope to promote this market more in the near future. There is a possibility that we will have extra inventory to sell each week and we will try to bring this for those of you who just stumble in.
So, even though the darkness and cold and death of winter is coming, there is still something to look forward to! Hope to see you Saturday and beyond!!