Growers’ Row: An Update from the Farm Crew

By Patrick Lang

It has become awfully quiet at PFP in recent weeks! The regular CSA season ended quite nicely: mild November weather, lots of help from our field work students from Vassar, and one final burst of harvesting by volunteers, field work students, and Workshare members. Over 2 days, we harvested, washed, and packed 3,380 pounds of carrots alone! It was hard work, but was extremely satisfying.

merle and brian.JPG

We now turn entirely toward our first season of winter growing, and we are getting excited about the first winter CSA distribution. This is an especially exciting time considering the work that has gone into gearing up for providing food in the winter. Here are some of the necessary improvements we’ve been working on this fall to make winter growing a reality:

 Leon in the new winter wash station

Leon in the new winter wash station

  • We purchased an additional shipping container and converted it to a cooler. This allows us to store the thousands of pounds of storage vegetables (cabbage, carrots, radishes, rutabaga, potatoes, onions, and others) that were recently harvested, and it is now completely full.
  • Conversion of our main cooler to a heated winter wash station. I certainly wouldn’t want to be dunking baby greens in ice-cold water in January. 
  • We also acknowledge the possibility of lots of snow, and are purchasing a plow and snow blower for our tractor. It’s a big expense, but we’d be quite stuck without it. Literally.

There has also been much preparation of the soil in the greenhouses, as you can imagine. Peat moss was incorporated to provide fluffy texture and organic matter, and bed preparation and seed sowing was done this fall with much patience and care by Leon and Merle. This has resulted in a glorious setting for our winter work, as well as a consistent supply of amazing greens. This includes veggies that aren’t normally distributed during the regular season, including the red mustard greens shown below. That is my version of instant lunch when I am working at PFP – absolutely delicious.

Whether you are joining us for the winter CSA or just finishing up winter squash from this fall and excited for next season, we hope you keep tabs on us through the winter. I can at least promise far more photos of greens than one needs, all winter on Facebook and Instagram.