It was 100 degrees here yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that too. But we’re going to continue the Fall theme this week with a few new items in your boxes that signal the direction we’ll be going in the next month or two.
Terra Firma grows Green Beans for a short period in the spring, but fall is the real season here. Beans don’t like cold, wet weather, and frost kills them out right. So we can’t plant them early in the spring like we do peas, but have to wait until April first. Those beans get harvested in early June.
But neither do they enjoy very hot weather — especially when the beans themselves are tiny. That’s why we don’t have any in your boxes mid-summer.
In early July, right about the time we’re harvesting the last of our spring-planted beans, we start planting for fall. The first few plantings are never guaranteed to succeed, as heat can kill the small seedlings when they are first emerging. But if they make it — which they did this year — they are ready to harvest around September 1st. I.e., now.
Once we get started, we plant every 7 days for almost two months. Some of those plantings get fried, but otherwise we harvest most weeks in September well into October. The warm days and chilly nights are perfect for growing really tasty green beans. We usually finish up around Halloween, but we’ve had season-ending rains as early as mid-October that cause the beans and plants to rot. November is almost always either too cold or too wet.
Delicata, like all so-called “winter squash”, gets planted in late spring and grows through the summer. But it ripens more quickly than most of its cousins, and is best enjoyed soon after harvest. That makes it more of an autumn treat than a winter one.
Harvest season for Delicata has just started, so the squash in your boxes today is more of a “sneak preview” than a “grand opening” and we should have lots more in the coming months.