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Apple-tober, since everything gets a -tober these days

October 7, 2011

And any week when we add a dozen more varieties of apples seems like a reason to celebrate. We just got finished letting you know about next weekend’s Apple Pie Contest and the addition of Fortune, Northwest Greening, Golden Russet, and Jonagold apples to the roster.

Creston is a new apple to us from Tougas Family Farms in Northboro Ma. It is similar to a Fuji.

Now  we will add another 10 by tomorrow morning! Favorites Rome and Granny Smith arrived today, as well as two new to us varieties from Tougas Orchards, Creston and Topaz were available today. We will roll out 4 more heirloom varieties in the morning: American Beauty, Blue Pearmain, Baldwin, and Northern Spy.

Topaz is another new apple to us from Tougas Family Farms. It descends from heirlooms in the Czech Republic and will remind you of a Granny Smith.

We are going into Columbus Day weekend with 29 varieties of apples, and if I counted locally grown pears we’d hit the nice round 30 with a big bin of Bosc pears recently in From Brookdale in New Hampshire.

So with so much to choose from nothing should keep you from stopping in to fill up on apples for some nice fall baking this weekend. What’s that? It’s 80 degrees outside? Well, maybe you’ll need them for a picnic anyway right? The perfect packable snack for a hike through some leaf-peeping woods? You’ll figure it out, but just make sure to swing by while the selection is vast.

Once it's October, it's never too early for Pumpkins!

We have barely talked about it, but you of course remember that Volante’s is the place to pick up the perfect Halloween pumpkin? It is, we have them in many sizes and colors. From pocket-sized Wee-Be-Littles to Trunk filling Jack-O-Lanterns we have them. And for the discriminating customer, we have them in white, tan, blue, and speckled as well. Something sure to suit.

Wee-Be-Littles are apple sized, and homegrown right here in our field!

In other field news, how do I put this? I think you had better sit down. It is Columbus Day Weekend. And one thing that has often been true in the past is true again. Seasonal Homegrown Corn is coming to an end.  We will certainly be picking the last Providence and Argent varieties this weekend and that should be the end of Corn this year. So, since it is going to be hot and summery and you may find yourself by the grill, keep in mind it is your last shot at spectacular Homegrown corn this year, so plan your menus accordingly.

Despite the reemergence of Summer, we did have a slight frost Friday morning. Since many of the crops were already petering out due to all the rain it wasn’t devastating.

Beans tucked in for the cold, and ready to handle a frost.

The crew was able to cover the last crop of fall beans with floating row cover to protect against the cold. It is the same paper we use to heat the soil in the spring to get the crops to come early and now with frost a danger it can keep the temperature of the covered crop up to 6 degrees warmer at night.

So we will have tasty beans available for a while to come still, good news for all.

Colman marks out spacing for the garlic cloves, while Lee tests the soil for softness.

And so that we aren’t only talking about the end of times, it was an exciting day in the field. We planted our first ever crop of Garlic. On the heels of our super-successful onion crops this summer, it only made sense to expand our bulb vegetable assortment. So as a trial we bought 10 lbs. of seed garlic.We spent a rainy afternoon last week separating the heads into cloves, and then took about 1000 of those cloves and put them into the field this afternoon.

10 pounds of garlic cloves separated and ready to pop in the ground.

Timing should be perfect, having just had a light frost. In a few weeks we will mulch the crop with salt marsh hay to keep weeds down and prevent the ground from heaving too much as it freezes and thaws throughout the winter. This is one of the longest term crops we have dealt with to date, as we don’t expect to harvest the bulbs until late June or July. We are excited to be able to offer garlic scapes in the spring. this early shoot from the bulb is a flavorful addition to stir frys and necessary to remove from the plant so that it forms a nice large head in the summer.

Morris plants one of about 1000 garlic cloves the field crew put in the ground this afternoon.

Additionally, we begin to operate our fall hours this weekend as well. We are now open from 9-6 everyday through the end of October, including Columbus Day.

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