The hot spell continues…but why act surprised? Hot spells are all too common at this time of year in Québec. They are summer’s final hurrah before fall rushes in. That said, September is also the month of the first frost, the cold snap that stops many a vegetable in its tracks, in some cases finishing them off for good: last year’s first frost hit on September 18. Cucurbits, i.e. cool cukes and all their relatives, wilt quietly but quickly, dying a sudden, but certain, vegetable death. So the time is now to harvest all those winter squash and store them in one of our barns. In contrast, other vegetables, particularly the leafy greens (arugula, lettuce, etc.) and brassicas (broccoli, radishes, etc.) thrive in autumnal temperatures, the frostier the better.
Finally, September is the month for winter field prep: hot spells notwithstanding, sunny days are already numbered and dedicated to the planting of green manure, i.e. cover crops that need to take root and grow before the first snow, the objective being to carpet the fields in green before they are blanketed in white in order to anchor the soil and mitigate wind and water erosion.
Nature’s abundance was manifest this week, so we had to make a few decisions: we will continue to offer cucumbers (which are harvested daily), but we’ll be taking a break from peppers (an extra week on the plant will do them (and us) good). And summer’s caciques still rule: tomatoes, eggplants, the last melons and green beans.