Friday, September 11, 2009

Field Tour Thursday September 10, 2009

We have now reached the time of year when, as Wayne puts it, there are 10 million things to do at once. Why can't the harvest season that occurs in Sept-Oct spread itself more thinly over the rest of the year? There is certainly never any spare time to do fun things aside from farming when it all snowballs like it does right now.

Below is a general field tour overview of some of those millions of things, but I could hardly begin to grasp it all with a single afternoon walk and a few select photos to share.

First off, here is this week's CSA share, packed up and ready to deliver to Santa Rosa recipients. The selection is always colorful this time of year. This week was napa cabbage (buried beneath), a melon, tomatoes, summer squash, cauliflower, broccoli, gypsy sweet peppers, green beans....just a bit of everything.

I later went out after packing the CSA and found the napa cabbages in the field. Upright like a romaine lettuce, this pagoda named and shaped chinese-style cabbage is a real looker right now. I'm inspired and have since planted some in my own garden at home.

Here is the obligatory chile overview. Hard to chose where to capture an image, but the hungarian wax region have some nice color variety to share. Yellow to orange to red, these are hot ones!

Nearby are the cactus fruit-I forget if they have another name than this, I'm sure they do. These are so flavorful, so unique and will be ripe before long with all else. Processing is not easy, but I was fortunate enough to get to try some last season that Lee peeled and de-spiked. These are highly sought for their nutritional and anti-oxidant value by many.

I love okra flowers. That is what this is. My mother made a good point the other day that they somewhat resemble the beautiful cut flower lisianthus. When browsing through okra plants, I usually seek out the flora rather than the fruit for my own aesthetic satisfaction.

People come back from walking the fields wondering over these super tall stalks. Topped with their little yellow sunflowers right now, the sunchokes/jerusalem artichokes are putting on a grand show.

The tomato patch is plentiful and organized this season! You are able to view the various varieties out there well since Lee ensured the signs were placed at each variety. Harder to get these names from the field to the farm stand, the tomatoes often sell unnamed, but still represent a great diversity of flavors and colors.

This is Lee's millet and it is beautiful. I'm not sure if it is intended for grain or bird food, but either way it simply makes a striking addition to the field. Go find it and see what this traditional grain looks like.

This little purple brassica plants are what will hopefully be bearing your purple brussels sprouts this fall and winter. The variety is called Rubine and the plants are looking good so far. There will be green brussels too for those who need more traditional colored veggies on their plates.

And finally, keeping an eye on the broader view of fieldwork out there, the crew works hard in the afternoon to control weeds in some of the younger crops. In the foreground here I stand within the watermelon patch where a few weeds have escaped the fate of the blade of a hoe...

Take your own field tour. Plenty to see.


  1. Thanks for a great tour! I am especially curious about Lee's millet! My parakeet would love one or 6 of those, and millet is gooood in muffins and bread!

  2. Hi Erica! The cactus fruit is also called Tuna (in Peru, anyway) and prickly pear (I think?) here.