This week we have been doing a lot of field clean up - pulling out dead plants, stakes, and plastic, and either taking down our high tunnels (unheated hoophouses) or moving them to their winter locations. All those hoophouses were covering heat-loving crops like peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and tomatillos; like many farmers, we try to rotate these crops every year for nutrient management and disease control. The hoophouses that we take apart we will store until spring, but we will put the ground posts and hoops in place - if we have time - which will let us get planting much earlier next year than if we had to wait for the ground to thaw to set up the hoophouses.
The rest of the hoophouses we just finished moving over some winter greens crops - spinach, arugula, spicy greens - that we will pick all winter if we can. There is not enough daylight between now and February, really, for plants to put on much growth - all these plants need more than 10 hours a day of sunlight to grow. So, our strategy is to get good growth before November, and after that we pick from the dormant plants until they are too small for harvesting.
Another strategy we use to have greens in the winter is to grow some indoors. Below is a photo of our pea-shoots setup. We use fluorescent lights that have a daylight spectrum and mylar-covered panels to maximize the light the shoots get.
As a reminder:
The Crystal Spring Farmers' Market ends November 7th; the Brunswick Farmers' Market on the Mall continues until the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (November 24th). Winter markets will be starting up soon - Midcoast Winter Farmers' Market starts TOMORROW - Friday, November 6th (1-5 pm, Topsham Fairgrounds), and the Brunswick Winter Market starts Saturday, November 14th (9-12:30 pm, Fort Andross Mill).
See you at market,