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Crop & Field Notes: In the thick of it!

20 August

Breen Lettuce Seedlings

Overwhelmed with the amount of harvesting going on at the moment, it’s always tricky to stay on top of propagation and planting schedules. Most of our crops are raised from seed, grown into seedlings and hand transplanted when they are large enough to thrive under the more challenging field conditions.

Red Russian Kale Seedlings

The moment a seed is sown, the clock starts ticking. Field preparations need to be timed so as to overlap with the maturity of the seedlings, which then need to be planted on a specific schedule. August through September is always a critical time to plan ahead for Fall and Winter crops such as Parsnips, Rutabaga, Romanesco Cauliflower, Celery Root, and of course more broccoli, lettuce, carrots, beets and leeks. We even try to squeeze in a late planting of summer squash and green beans. Sometimes I envy my fellow farmers in colder climates where hard frost and snow will call an end to the outdoor growing season. Here, with our relatively mild weather, we grow crops year-round.

Little Gem Lettuce Seedlings

The Apple harvest starts this week. First up are our crunchy Summerfelds, a variety discovered in a Central Valley Orchard as a chance seedling and believed to be a cross between a Gala and a Fuji. It is a fairly large sweet apple with firm, crisp, juicy flesh. Well balanced, sweet, similar to a Fuji it’s great for baking, as a snack, or cut into a salad. Extra Fruit shares will get the first ones this week.

Summerfeld apples

Summerfeld (or Sommerfeld) apples

Apples are ripening, school is starting, and it’s time to think about preserving some of this summer’s bounty. This Saturday we invite you to the farm to pick your own dry-farmed tomatoes (click here for details), and other crops you will discover are abundant and ripe for picking. (i.e. raspberries, cherry tomatoes, peppers…)


Picking and eating something right from the field where it is grown is deeply satisfying. It speaks to the farmer within us, the one that believes in growing flavorful, fresh, and nourishing food. It speaks to the cook in us who enjoys preparing a delicious meal, and of course it speaks to us all who enjoy eating and sharing a delicious wholesome meal.

Winterbor Kale Seedlings

The guiding principle of our farm is to maintain that intimacy between farm and community, such that we can all experience the pleasure of this nourishing relationship.

Recently transplanted broccoli seedlings.

Trout Lettuce Seedlings

Amadeus Broccoli Seedlings

Ruby Lettuce Seedlings

Toscano (Dino) Kale Seedlings. The ones in the foreground were planted on Aug 6th while the ones in the background were planted July 30th.