This week’s to do list: plant fall storage carrots and rutabaga, get September broccoli seedlings in, weed winter squash… Hang on cowgirl, today is the solstice! AKA the first day of summer! Hello, school is out, and we’re blessed with the longest days of the year perfect for playing outside in the sun ‘til sundown. Heck, the lake water hasn’t even gotten warm enough for my Texas-born body to swim in!
The thing I remember most about the first time we walked on what is now our dream farm at 62 Merrills Mills Road in Dover-Foxcroft is Gene's smile after he pranced through the tall timothy and red clover in the field tucked up out of sight from the road. Hey, this beautiful eight acre field has a ton of space, he said. There's no way we'd be able to sell more veggies than that, we told each other.
Are you a visual person? I sure am! The cliche, "a picture says a thousand words," is really true in my book. That's why in 2013 I made a goal of taking a picture of every single week of our summer CSA farm share boxes that we had! I had a lot of fun doing this and made this blog to show you the beautiful colors and diversity that can be had from our local farm from July-October!
Have you ever noticed that winter in Maine is a very dark time of year? Our vegetable crops have noticed, too! While I'm sure you've also noticed the cold temperatures of Maine winters, the reduction of daylight hours is really what "kills" the growing season. At ten hours or less of daylight, or after the beginning of November every year, the days are too short for the vegetable plants to make any growth at all. Wow, does this sound like seasonal affective disorder to you?
Many of our Summer CSA members, friends and family members ask us on the last day of CSA pick-up, "Now you're on vacation, right?" The answer to this common question is Nope! The shorter, cooler days of fall are very busy times for Ripley Farm as we prepare for frozen ground, cold winds, and the threat of snow. We are harvesting and washing all of our storage crops, making sure they are safely tucked away for winter.
Does Ripley Farm have vegetables available for purchase this fall and winter? We've been getting this question a number of times lately so we want to answer it and provide the JUICY details. Yes! The fall is the time of great abundance and we are in the middle of collecting and squirreling away lots of organic produce much of which is available for you to buy now through the fall and into the winter. Here's some details about the great fall options that Ripley Farm has available starting RIGHT NOW and until supplies run out...
As farmers we simultaneously prepare all year for the coming of the fall harvest season and dread it at the same time! That's right, fall is a time of great abundance, but is very fleeting and we must find things to do with all of the extra produce! So, we've gotten creative over the years that we've been farming and here are our four favorite ways to use up or preserve the abundance of the harvest season!
Wilty greens or limp carrots aren't just unappetizing, they're also not as nutritious either. At Ripley Farm we take great care to get your CSA vegetables to you in the best condition possible so that they will have maximum freshness for you all week.
We want our CSA members to enjoy your vegetables in 'just picked' condition for many days after the pick-up day! Our farm and our members must play a role in making this happen.