September 14, 2023

It seems as if fall may have arrived on the farm. Everyone on the farm is reveling in the fact that the mornings are cool, followed by days of quite agreeable temperatures for this time of year. With the amount of hours we are spending outdoors right now, cooler days are welcome after a summer of extreme heat.

Fall harvest has begun, but do not worry, we continue to harvest your summer favorites and will continue to do so until Mother Nature tells us otherwise.

However … it’s still dry.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the current drought conditions. It’s dry. Very, very dry. Many of you are seeing this as cities are imposing watering bans to conserve water.

While we know we need rain and moisture for our soils, we are at a point in our growing season that rain won’t help the crops anymore this season. The damage has been done, so if we are being completely transparent, we’d like it to stay dry for the next 4-6 weeks to make the fall harvest a bit easier. Without rain, the pumpkins and squash are coming out of the fields fairly clean, meaning we do not have to spend as much time washing or cleaning them prior to shipping them to our customers.

pumpkins squash and gourds

The Fall Harvest Begins!

Speaking of fall harvest, it is off to a rapid start in our area of Minnesota.

  • There is a substantial amount of corn silage produced in our area, and it’s already about 80% complete for the season. That’s much earlier than normal.
  • The soybeans are rapidly turning yellow and beginning to drop their leaves, which means combining isn’t that far away.
  • Field corn is also quite mature for this time of September, with many farmers planning to start their combining within the next week.
  • Our fall harvest of apples, pumpkins, and squash is off to a great start. Although a hot start last week, the cooler temperatures have helped as we work sun up to sun down, working to get as much out of the fields as we can.
Farmer Jerry First Kiss Apple video
Play Video about Farmer Jerry First Kiss Apple video

The First Kiss apple harvest continues incrementally as we can only pick the fruit once it has turned completely red. While this variety is fairly new, it is gaining more and more popularity and respect and we receive such wonderful feedback from our customers.

In addition to First Kiss, we have begun the SweeTango harvest as well. It won’t be long until the ever so popular Honeycrisp are ready as well.

Yet Summer Hangs On

While much of our focus has switched to fall items, our summer offerings are still producing, albeit a bit slower. Within the last week, the growth has slowed as the temperatures cool and the days continue to get shorter in daylight.

Plant growth that we would normally see in one day throughout early to mid-August now takes three days. The sweet corn is growing and with these cooler temperatures, it looks like we should have it through the entire month of September and maybe even the first week of October, barring any frost. Tomatoes and cucumbers continue to produce, although quantities are less and less at harvest interval, a sign that the season is slowly coming to an end.

pumpkins waiting for shipment

The workload is heavy at this time of year as the seasons collide, but we recognize that it doesn’t last forever. Within 6 weeks, most of the harvest will be done for the 2023 growing season. With that thought, we keep moving forward and hope you enjoy the bounty we continue to send to our vegetable stands and retail partners.

Thank you for your continued support,

Farmer Jerry