Tiny Miracle Brassicas (and Other Hints of Fall)

Last weekend was reasonably dry, which means… I was able to take pictures on Tuesday afternoon! Although we’re still toting lots of summer crops to markets and pick-ups, we’ve been thinking ahead to fall and seeding and transplanting lots of fall crops over the last several weeks. And so, I present a taste of what’s to come!

         

From left to right, I present some of our tiny miracle brassicas – Caraflex cabbage, Super Red 80 cabbage, and Nelson Brussels sprouts. Why miracle brassicas? These, along with some broccoli and cauliflower, were transplanted over the course of last week. They were, however, looking a bit rough, thanks to lots of hungry harlequin bugs and cabbage loopers in the high tunnel – and by rough, I mean, “If these little guys make it, it’s going to be a miracle.” I was pleasantly surprised on my photo expedition this week to see that they’ve all grown a bit, and they each have a few new leaves intact. It’s very encouraging! We transplanted kale, kohlrabi, and more broccoli this week, and I’m hoping that they make similar progress over the next few weeks.

We have a few plantings of fennel in the ground at the moment. Fennel is a member of the carrot family, and has ferny leaves much like dill (also a member of the carrot family). Fennel has an anise or licorice flavor, and can be eaten raw or cooked.

We’ve started to see young winter squash starting to form, like the butternut squash-in-progress here. Of all of the fall crops that I’ll miss after I leave next week, winter squash are second only to sweet potatoes on my list. As we weeded a later planting of winter squash this afternoon, we could see some tiny (1-1.5″) sweet dumpling and Delicata squash starting to form as well!

Our watermelon radishes were seeded about two weeks ago, and look to be doing well. They’re a milder radish than the French breakfast radishes that we had in the spring, and really do look like little watermelons – green outside, pink inside. There were a few in storage from last fall when I arrived in May, and they were very popular at the market! In the same field, we also have several varieties of turnips that are about as far along as the radishes. Bad joke alert: one should never turn-up one’s nose at turnips… (I’m rather partial to them.)

And we’ll finish up with Cara’s obligatory flower pictures – I can’t help it! The butterflies are really quite partial to the zinnias, and our second planting of zinnias are looking great!

Hope to see lots of you at the market tomorrow morning! I can’t believe it’s my last Saturday market – I’m going to miss them!

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