October 13, 2023
Here we are, the middle of October and it seems as if the true fall weather has arrived. The warm days of summer are gone, and the cool, wet days of fall have arrived.
Looking ahead, it seems as if we are going to add some more moisture to the soil before it freezes. While the moisture is a good thing, it makes our fall harvest and cleanup just a bit more difficult. It’s never any fun working outside in the cold, wet, and windy weather at this time of year. This past week has been spent amassing pumpkins and squash, getting as many bins out of the fields as possible so when it rains, we still have inventory to work with and ship out.
A few summer crops remain in our high tunnels. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and even some strawberries are holding on. While we have had some light frosts on our outside crops, which ended our melon and zucchini harvests, the temperatures haven’t dipped low enough to end our tunnel production.
In my opinion, I think we have about a week to 10 days left before we call it quits with the harvest of summer favorites like our beloved tomatoes. Make sure to stop by any of our stands and stock up on just a few more before the season ends. It’s a long wait until homegrown tomatoes come around again.
Another true sign that fall has arrived … combining season has begun. This past week, our evenings were spent harvesting soybeans. It’s our goal to finish the beans over the next few days and then make our way to field corn.
Having the corn and soybeans wrapped up by the end of October is our goal, but we will see what happens. With rain in the forecast, it may slow us down, but we shall see. We know we need the rain, we just wish it would hold off, but as we all know, weather is completely out of our control.
The apple harvest continues as well. Although we faced some hail damage from a storm in mid-July, our apple crop has far exceeded our expectations this year. Currently, we are in the middle of harvesting the SweeTango variety and by the end of the week we hope to have that wrapped up so we can focus on the ever so popular Honeycrisp. After Honeycrisp, we will have just a few varieties remaining like Snow Sweet and Haralson.
The great cleanup continues around the farm. Our crews continue to get the fields and tunnels prepped for winter.
Within the next week, we will begin ‘skinning’ or removing all the plastic from our high tunnels. The tunnels can’t withstand snow, so each fall we remove the plastic coverings and store them for the next season.
Once the threat of snow is gone in mid to late March, we will recover the steel structures. A great undertaking for sure, but one that is worth it in our opinion.
It’s a bittersweet time of year in the fact that everything we have worked hard to raise throughout the season must come to an end. Within the next four weeks, the farm will make a complete transformation.
Right now everything is a hustling and bustling, but soon enough the work will be wrapped up, the majority of our workers will head home for the winter months, and we will be left to analyze and evaluate this past season while beginning to plan for next year. The end of the season is in sight, but some work remains.
Thank you for your continued support,
That does not seem to be the case this year, so the summer harvest continues. We are still harvesting sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, watermelon, and more.
With the day length getting shorter by the day, crops that we harvested every other day are now being harvested every 4 to 5 days instead. This is a sign that the season is coming to an end, but we always do our best to keep it going as long as possible.
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Though the growing season is done, we send monthly updates until next spring, when our Weekly Farm Feature email will let you know what’s fresh at Untiedt’s Garden Centers and Vegetable Stands each week.