The transition from summer vegetables to fall and winter ones is not often a smooth one here. Many years, hot weather sticks around until late October. Other years, fall arrives early in the form of a soaking rain that promptly ends the season for summer crops like tomatoes.
Early Fall is also challenging a season for fruit. Apples love classic autumn weather, which is perhaps why they don’t do particularly well here. Grapes are the one fruit crop we have found that thrives in September and October here, but this year it’s been so cool that they don’t seem to want to ripen.
In order to keep your boxes full and interesting during this challenging time of year for us, we tend to lean on our BFF (Best Friend Farms) who might have items that we don’t grow or don’t currently have available in our fields.
We don’t grow Eggplant at Terra Firma. It doesn’t produce reliably or predictably for us. Other farms in the area do grow it though, and when it comes on strong — usually in September — they are happy to share some of it with us.
And while we do grow Lettuce in the winter and spring, it has no tolerance for heat. Happily, we have a close relationship with a farm in Pescadero that has ideal conditions for lettuce in October, as well as fall-harvested Potatoes. You will see both in your boxes soon.
In the fruit department, we have a friend and neighbor just down the road with an orchard of newer Pluot varieties that ripen during this period.
Our BFF relationships are not just one-way. We help out other farmers in the area with certain crops as well when they are having gaps or simply don’t have the right conditions for growing them. Going forward with our new climate, these relationships will become even more important than they already are.