The farm saw its first light frost last week, a whole two weeks earlier than last year. One positive result of a frost is that it actually makes some crops taste sweeter. Things like kale, carrots, beets, turnips, and leeks have all developed a strategy to survive colder temperatures. When threatened with a frost, these crops convert starch into sugar to help prevent the water in their cells from freezing. Brilliant! This is extremely beneficial to the survival of the plant, the possible growing season for New England farmers and your dinner plates!
In order to prepare for the cold nights, we bulk harvested all the good peppers, eggplant, hot peppers and tomatoes. You’ll notice the fruit may be smaller than usual, but this way we were able to save any of the fruit that may have been damaged. We also spent time covering young and more sensitive crops with row cover. We covered things like lettuce, spinach, bok choy, parsley, radicchio, and young radishes. The row cover will also help the soil retain heat to encourage continued growth.
In the end, we didn’t lose too much in the fields and everything that’s left is happy to get another week of warm days and warm nights. The row cover is keeping small transplants cozy and you should start looking for hot pepper recipes since you’ll all be getting lots in your share this week! Here is a recipe I found for some hot pepper honey which is good on chicken, pizza, bagels, and cocktails. This recipe doesn’t require heating the honey, which could destroy good bacteria. The honey we sell at the farm from Arthur’s Apiaries isn’t pasteurized like a lot of store bought honey and therefore has all the “good stuff”.
Until next time,