For the past 25 years or so I’ve followed the same routine — by this time of year, the first killing frost has occurred and all of the expired plants have been pulled up. But this is a strange year, unlike any I can recall.
It’s November 3 and a killing frost isn’t predicted for at least another week or so. And according to the meterologists, we’ve had the warmest October on record. Many plants are still producing a nice crop of veggies, such as eggplants, chards, peppers, broccoli, kale, and snow peas. We’re even getting some tomatoes, which is bizarre.
I’m not getting enough produce to reopen the farm stand, but this year’s weather has me thinking that maybe I need to start thinking about longer growing seasons here in New England, and how to adapt to them. One example — the tomatoes that are still producing are the “volunteer” plants that sprung up from seeds that were left from last year’s spoiled fruits. Those seeds germinated on their own in various random spots, spread around by the rototiller. It might be a good strategy to plant 2 tomato crops next year — one from traditionally transplanted tomatoes, and a second from tomatoes that are directly seeded into the garden.
Next year’s crops
Just before I closed down the farm stand in early October, I asked my customers to suggest veggies that they’d like to see me add to the stand next year. I got a lot of great suggestions, and I think pretty much all of them will be on the stand next year. Here’s a breakdown of what people would like to see added to the stand:
- Delicata squash
- Ground cherries
- Lettuce and sprouts
- Succotash beans (Lima beans)
- More varieties of broccoli
- Rutabega (I grew some buy will grow more)
If you’d like to see some new products on the stand, email me at email@example.com, or leave a comment in the box below. Thanks!
John Macone operates Farmer John’s Organic Foods, a neighborhood farmstand in Amesbury. Keep up with what’s growing at his Facebook page.