Shareholders are welcomed to join Picadilly Farmers Bruce and Jenny, this Saturday, October 27th, for an end-of-season celebration at the farm, from 2-6pm. Wear your work pants and we’ll put you to work for a POTATO DIG. We’ll load up the hay wagon with people and buckets, and head out past the pigs to the potato field. Then we’ll head back with buckets laden, and toss some spuds into the campfire. At 4:30pm, a few farm friends will play some music, and we’ll enjoy roasted potatoes with farm chili, followed by a sweet treat of s’mores. And if you haven’t been here before, Bruce and I will be happy to show you around. We hope you can join us at the farm this Saturday! Directions to Picadilly can be found at the farm website picadillyfarm.com
Thoughts on “Big Veggies” from Riverland.
With the first frost we are accustomed to seeing any remaining hot crops and many annual weeds die. This time while we were milling around on Saturday morning we saw sweet potato foliage that had turned completely black, sections of winter radishes with partially “burned” foliage, and our final plantings of broccoli and cauliflower all have a scorched tinge to the foliage. I’ve never witnessed broccoli and cauliflower so affected by a first frost. None of these crops in my estimation were actually damaged and the crops that are vulnerable to frost we diligently covered with row cover a day earlier which will keep them protected well into November. So no harm.. no foul… just a cold night that will sweeten the harvest. Many of the crops yet to be harvested will actually get sweeter as they convert their starches to sugars in effort to prevent freezing.
This year’s sweet potato crop was a bumper! Every time we picked another bed it seemed like the yield increased. They are large in size and large in volume. All said and done, by the time we tucked the last of the sweets into the greenhouse we’d pulled over 23,000#’s out of the field! As we were picking…when one of us would pull out a freakishly large sweet potato we’d hold it up for the others to admire. It got me to think about why this is…. Why are we so pleased with ourselves when we produce large vegetables? Is it America? After all we are known around the world for always wanting things bigger, better, stronger, and faster. Is it because they represent a high degree of fertility? You know what they say, the farmer that grows big vegetables must have….well…fertile soil (you thought I was going somewhere else with that right?). Is it simply a mark of achievement?…
Maybe the most basic answer is, if we are getting large vegetables off of the same land area as small vegetables then… the larger the vegetable the higher the yield and the more people we can feed per unit area. It is possible that factors into our psyche but there’s something ingrained deeper us, some primal mentality that these large vegetables appeal to. Something that transcends the grandeur of America, the fertility symbolism, the achievement of something difficult, or the yield…
While we are in awe of giant vegetables and all the charisma they posses… we are equally crushed when things turn out to be, well, less giant… For us…tiny beets, pencil thin leeks, and nubby carrots represent not only the opposite of what giant vegetables represent, but they also represent added time. The time it takes to fill a bucket with big beets is doubled when the beets are half the size. So on top of all these other factors…. maybe what we like best about big vegetables is that they are not small. Food for thought.
We hope you enjoy all the vegetables.. big and small.
On behalf of the farm crew Jason, Amanda, Dave, Andrew,
Rob, Meghan, and Cayden