Summer's not giving up yet, but nonetheless the crew at Jericho Settlers Farm is getting ready for winter. Preparations for our Winter CSA and our winter greens production are well underway. We've been hard at work clearing tomato plants out of our hoophouses so they can grow fresh greens all winter long.
From April through August our two largest hoophouses are full of tomato, cucumber, zucchini, and basil plants. In early September, while our other ten hoophouses are still pumping out tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, we clean out these two large houses to get a jump on establishing transplants for winter greens production. So clearing out tomato plants means......lots of green tomatoes! You'll often find them featured in our late summer CSA shares. A BLT sandwich with fried green tomatoes is a staff favorite.
Once the tomato plants are out of the hoophouses we weed, fertilize, reset our planting beds, lay new driplines for irrigation and get ready to plant winter greens!
These young lettuce and kale transplants are ready to go in the ground. The days are getting shorter, so even if the weather is still hot in September and October we cannot delay planting the winter greens or the plants just don't get big enough before the short days of December set in. Think of it as "banking" greens now to harvest later.
By mid-December the hoophouses are growing lush greens like this! Starting in late December or early January we very minimally heat (30F at night) these two large hoophouses with a biomass furnace that burns wood pellet or dry corn to heat hot water that is pumped underground beneath the planted beds. The little ground heat and a remay blanket at night is all these cold-hardy greens need to be happy through cold January nights.
And what joy to see the likes of this on your plate in January! Get in on this Good Food Year Round by joining our Winter CSA! Click here to sign up online or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.