Greetings from the Stony Point Center Farm, where the fields have been put to bed for the season and we’re watching the red, orange, and yellow leaves fall from the trees!
November has arrived, and while it looks like autumn on the farm, it certainly doesn’t feel like it. This year’s weather has been strange since the beginning of the growing season, and the trend continues. This year’s first frost was the earliest I have seen during my time at Stony Point Center. We had a light frost on October 16 and then a pretty hard one the next night (that’s about two weeks earlier than each of the last two years). We estimated that temperatures that night were probably around 27 degrees. While we were able to successfully cover the basil in our greenhouse to extend its life for a few extra weeks, temperatures that cold put an end to the tomato and bell pepper harvest season. So while I was soaking up the sun on vacation on the beach in South Padre Island on the Gulf coast of my home state of Texas, Amirah and Matt were in the fields picking the last of the peppers and tomatoes as well as digging up Stony Point Center’s first sweet potato crop, which we learned needed to come out of the ground before any freezing temperatures arrived. And what a crop it was--we harvested almost 500 pounds of sweet potatoes!
Despite the first frost coming on the early side of the season, it has actually been quite warm this fall. In fact, we’ve had daytime temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s consistently for the last couple of weeks. This warm weather has allowed our late greenhouse and hoophouse plantings of lettuce, spinach, arugula, and pac choi to get off to a healthy start. That means that we’ll likely have a variety of greens in our Thanksgiving dinner, and plenty of salad during the month of December. Yum!
So while our daily work of tending to the crops, caring for the chickens, taking out the compost, and delivering the greenhouse harvests continues, the pace of that work has slowed considerably. It’s a good feeling to come to the tail end of another growing season here. It feels like we’ve grown tons of food (although we have not yet calculated the final numbers) and we’ve enjoyed sharing it with all of Stony Point Center’s guests this year, especially at last month’s farm-to-table fundraiser gala, which was an absolutely amazing event.
Happy Thanksgiving (a little early), everyone! We definitely have had plenty to be thankful for from our farm this season!