It’s been a rather busy summer here at the farm, and I’ve neglected our website! Travel to California, lots of company, and lots of gardening during the long, warm summer kept me very busy. We were joined by one new family member, baby Eleanor, on July 22!
Fall crept up on us this year, with temperatures high in the 80’s belying the fact that it was mid-September. And now we are already into October, watching the leaves just beginning to change. Night time temperatures are dropping, good for germinating lettuces and spinach!
Early this week we processed our sweet sorghum crop. Chuck has worked hard all summer planting, cultivating and then harvesting his plot – our experimental first time with this crop. On Monday we took more than 600 pounds of cane over to the Merry Lea Environmental Center Sustainable Farm and worked with farm director Jon Zirkle, local farmers Larry Palmer, Tom Wise and others to press out the cane juice and boil it down into syrup. After evaporating juice at Merry Lea, we brought the almost-finished product home to our farm kitchen to finish and bottle. Sweet sorghum syrup is different from molasses, which is pressed from sugar cane. Sorghum is a thick, amber-colored syrup with a mild, nutty flavor, reminiscent of toasting grains. I can’t wait to try it in rye bread and ginger cookies!
Our fig tree experiment begun last summer, is still alive. The trees emerged from hibernation in mid-May, but took a long time to leaf out and bear fruit. We’ve been able to harvest some fruit, and there are lots of green figs on the branches now. Hopefully they’ll be able to mature before the cold temperatures arrive. As always, they’re delicious!
As the summer garden winds down, we have Fall lettuce and arugula growing well, some new kale emerging, and are about to harvest sweet potatoes. Our delicious honey is sold out. Tomatoes are nearly finished, as are the peppers and eggplant. Okra will be breathing its last next week as the temperatures fall. We are beginning to prepare the garlic beds for fall planting this week. And we’ll be starting to re-cover our hoop houses and plant for indoor winter crops soon – salad greens, carrots, beets and radishes.
We have just two more weeks of Saturday morning Whitley County Farmers’ Market in Columbia City, and then we’ll be hosting on-farm sales throughout the winter. This week we will feature pumpkins, green tomatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet sorghum syrup, and fall salad mix, along with our usual baked goods. Hope you all can come visit the market this week!