Fall means a lot of new crops in the field. We’ve got five kinds of lettuce planted, as well as endive and escarole. We’ve planted several kinds of mustard greens and Asian greens, including mizuna. In case you’ve never had that Japanese green before, it looks a lot like a delicate dandelion with its dog-toothed leaves, but its taste is closer to arugula. You’ll want to get some stir-fry recipes ready for the Asian greens, although they are equally good in salads. Epicurious has a few pages of recipes for Asian greens here.
We’ve got more cabbage growing, red, green and Savoy, and we’ve got high hopes for our shitake mushrooms.. We’ve got six different kinds of radishes, including some that pack a really powerful punch, as well as three kinds of turnips and a lot of sweet peppers. The Swiss chard is coming along nicely.
The winter squash may be a different matter. The deer seem to be treating the rows of squash as their personal salad bar this year, taking a bite or two every few feet as they move through the rows. We’re going to hope they decide they’re sated soon. The beets don’t appear to like this crazy weather year at all, though we may get some beet greens.
Speaking of weather, the temperatures have been dipping rapidly already up here: We’ve had a few nights close to 40. But we’re doing what we can to nurture our crops along. Everything that has been planted is under row covers, reusable fabric that protects the crops from cold and bugs. We’re also taking full advantage of the irrigation system we put in earlier this year.
But Mother Nature has to do her part, and bring us the daily sunshine that all these crops need. If you know a sun dance, do it now.