Had someone told me that I would be able to serve up tomatoes in the third week of October, I would have smirked, guffawed, or perhaps both,
in a manifestation of total disbelief.
In truth, no tomato plant can go unprotected this long in the fields, particularly if it has been subjected to three hard frosts and many a cold night. So how is it that you will have tomatoes in your baskets again this week? You can chalk it up to our use of tunnels, certainly, as well as, perhaps, to the introduction of a new variety of paste tomatoes called Granadero – a rustic Spanish cultivar that seems to resist the cold like no other.
Unless they are grown in heated greenhouses, it is nearly impossible
to grow field tomatoes unprotected.
In our case, we use high tunnels, which protect the plants from inclement weather and mildew. Indeed, even though the season was more humid than seasons past, our tunnels kept our tomato plants dry, which has allowed us to extend the tomato harvest until now, which is amazing.
That said, the same rainy weather also affected our onions, a crop which does not appreciate excess humidity any more than tomatoes do.
As a result, you may find the occasional onion in your basket which has been touched by blue mold; it will be up to you to determine if a simple excision of the affected portion will suffice, or if the entire onion will have to be tossed into your compost bin. These are the vagaries of organic agriculture. Were I a conventional grower, I would have the option of spreading synthetic fungicides on my onion crop to mitigate the adverse effects of humidity – but I prefer to err on the side of non-interventionism, confident that the overall losses will remain manageable and that we will have good onions in sufficient quantities to make up for the few not-so-good ones you may encounter.
In your basket this week
you will find some delicata squash as well as a second – yet-to-be-determined – variety of winter squash, potatoes, carrots or beets, a new variety of onions, some leafy greens and, depending on your drop-off location, winter radishes or garlic, and more.
We look forward to seeing you again.