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Squash, carrots, and apples help you welcome Fall to Volante’s

September 30, 2011

Rolling on into October this weekend, there are still some new things to talk up as the summer season draws to a close and fall comes into its own.

Blue, Green and Orange Hubbard mingle with Lakota, Sunshine, Speckled Hound and Small Wonder Spaghetti Squash.

We have gotten all of the winter squash picked and into storage and out on the stand floor. Squashes ripen throughout the fall season and many of them don’t reach their peak flavor until they have sat off the vine for a little while. Conventionally it is said that the smaller the squash the earlier in the season it is ready to use. This is why the first varieties we have available are the acorn, sweet dumpling, and Delicata squashes. As the bigger Hubbards, Butternut and pumpkins age they reach perfect ripeness as well. This takes 2-4 weeks usually from the time they are picked. For more on our winter squash varieties, visit our guide here.

Just six of the carrot varieties on tap right now.

An exciting new addition to the stand this week is the return of homegrown carrots.  Last month’s storms left our carrot crop waterlogged and rotting, so we have had to provide you with some fine Massachusetts grown carrots as a temporary substitute the last few weeks.  Our last crop of the year has finally matured enough to harvest and we are thrilled to bring it out this weekend. Not only in classic orange, but in an array of colors.

We grow carrots across the color spectrum. Our orange carrots are usually one of three varieties depending on time of year, either Six-Shooter, Sugarsnax, or Nectar.

We also grow a very bright yellow carrot, Yellowstone, which has the most amazing fragrance and sweetness. Three is also our Rainbow mix, which produces carrots of varying shades of white, yellow and orange. Rainbow tends to be mildly sweet.

Carrots in the lineup, from L to R: Orange Sugarsnax, Yellow Yellowstone, Cosmic Purple, Atomic Red, Rainbow, Purple Haze.

New this year we are trying out Atomic Red. While it may sound radioactive, the color is actually more toward the pinkish orange end. The flavor of this carrot is actually sublime, however the seed produces so poorly few of you will get to try it. Hear that? That’s me drumming up demand for my luxury carrots. Keep an eye peeled for these, (eating more of the other carrots might help with that no?).

One of our biggest hits over the past few years have been our Cosmic Purple Carrots. They vary in color from rosy to deep purple, and always have a bright orange center.  They are short and stocky and a huge hit with kids bored with standard orange. They lose some of their color in cooking but certainly can be used to spark some interest in the lunch box.

Purple Haze, kind of a throwback, but still fresh to us.

Since purple carrots have been such a hit we are also trying out Purple Haze this fall. They so far seem to be incredibly purple, almost black, with a bright yellow to orange center. While their color is shocking you can serve them with the trivia tidbit that original carrots were all purplish-black, and over the ages, orange became the sought after color through breeding. So by serving purple carrots you are actually taking part in some hardcore heirloom dining.

I have updated the apple page to reflect this week’s offerings. A few of the early types have gone for the season, making room for a few more varieties to fill in. Among them Red and Golden Delicious, and not the same as your grocer’s trucked around the world ones. These Delicious apples come direct from Brookdale in Hollis New Hampshire.

Spencer apples are in again, spicy and juicy as always.

We also have Liberty apples in now, a school lunch classic, perfectly sized for a midday snack and with just the right sweetness and crispness to please. For a bigger appetite and sweet tooth, Spencer apples also arrived this week. They are perfect for someone who loves the size of a Honeycrisp but a little less sugar.

One of the ugliest beasts of the garden, the Tomato Horn Worm has finally arrived in the field. These guys do a lot of damage to a plant, but not much to a lot of plants. One in your garden could make you not want tomatoes again for a while though. this one isn't coated with its hundreds of white eggs on its back yet at least. Since the crop is more or less done, we will let them feed, most will become crow food by week's end. For relativity's sake this one is larger than my index finger.

The tomato crop is still giving little gasps to us. The main season crop of Early Girls are totally done, in fact we have already cut them down from the trellis-ing. Heirlooms and Cherries have also taken on the sour taste of season’s end. But on a high note we are still getting a small pick of homegrown plum tomatoes. We will continue to offer nice local tomatoes as long as we can find them. Hope you got yours while you had your chance!

Another beautiful fall day finds the crew in the bean crop. Still producing in bulk, beans, green and otherwise, should be available through October.




Construction note: The Timbers for the post and beam farmstand arrived this week, pre-stained and ready to raise. You should see them looming in the next few days and with them maybe a sense of where the new stand will take shape. The crew has started doing walking tours of the area this week to try to familiarize with the space. You can start to ask us more questions about it as we figure it out too!

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