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Waltham Fields Community Farm (incorporated as Community Farms Outreach, Inc.) is a nonprofit farming organization focusing on sustainable food production, fresh food assistance, and on-farm education. For more information about Waltham Fields check out our website!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Notes from the Field - Fall Forward

It's finally happening - the chill in the early morning air is gently nudging summer aside as the fall weather arrives.  Long sleeves and even a whisper of sweaters can be spotted among the plantings if you look close enough.  Even as our most iconic summer crops are still rolling in, the maples leaves redden and fall at our feet.  Not to be outdone or humiliated just yet, the summer has chosen to retaliate with a couple of days in the mid-nineties, just in case we forgot.  But it's meteorological shenanigans like this that have made our okra one of the biggest underdog hits of the year!

This is a great year for watermelon.  We really can't emphasize enough how much we've been enjoying it.  I've seen a melon stop unstoppable people in their tracks, rendering them useless until all the juicy nectar-flesh has been meticulously lifted from the rind.  I've seen people who hate watermelon grow to love watermelon.  The supreme tastiness of this stuff is not to be taken lightly.  It's deadly serious and commands our full reverence in its presence.  The watermelon itself is a loyal servant of the unrelenting summer sun, as it leads us to remember that we, too are indentured to the brutal heat, forced to be thankful for it and the delectable fruits that it yields.  Even as the heat subsides, the melons continue to ripen, ensuring that many months from now, the uncomfortable air of this summer will be fondly remembered and measured in juiciness, not degrees Fahrenheit.

And now it's time for our brassicas to step up to center stage.  The recent rainfall has given our already-enormous plants a much-deserved boost into the fall.  Crowns of broccoli are beginning to eagerly peak up into the world, and the collard greens boldly challenge any conventional fridge to contain them.  Our kale plants have grown taller than anyone might have guessed, and they're barreling towards the colder seasons with determination and a great sense of purpose.  It bodes well for the remaining weeks of harvestable weather.
Other signs of the changing seasons are visible everywhere you look.  Where robust squash and zucchini once sprawled, the first seedlings of our winter cover crop are emerging.  All of our storage onions have finally been brought home to cure and settle in for the winter.  And if you look really closely, it seems like the tomatoes might be considering slowing down with their middle age.  But not just yet.  They're still happily producing all the fruit that we can possibly pick.  And so even as the plants wake up every morning to a chilly dew coating their leaves, the recent (and forecasted) midday heat makes it clear that this summer is choosing to go out with a bang, not a whisper.

- Roy Kresge, Field Crew

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