Patchwork Green is a hillside and ridgetop farm overlooking the beautiful Canoe Creek Valley several miles north of Decorah, Iowa. Our family grows five acres of vegetables on a farm near Decorah, Iowa. We grow a wide variety of high quality, chemical-free vegetables using sustainable techniques.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Market this week and Looking for Leaves!

I hope you can enjoy this amazing weekend outdoors.  Start it off right with a visit to the market! 
  • We've got some late summer produce, like sweet peppers, joining the fall greens and storage
    crops in this mild fall.  
  • This week, we'll feature sweet and hot peppers, cilantro, kale, chard, radishes, delicata squash, mini ornamental pumpkins, garlic, cooking onions and 5 types of potatoes.  For the early birds, we'll have a few beets, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, Napa cabbage, Jack-O'-Lanterns and pie pumpkins.
We'll wait a few more weeks before we bring in a few of the latest-maturing crops.  Look forward to Brussels sprouts, big winter squash, tatsoi, rutabaga, carrots and a big crop of sweet, fall broccoli.

We are starting to fill bulk orders for the fall.  Place yours now to ensure availability!  You can order potatoes, onions, garlic, shallots, cabbage and beets.

See you at the market!

More News from the Garden
Now that we have worked in our new packing and storage facilities for a full growing season, their utility is really beginning to shine.  The root cellar, with it’s nifty Coolbot system, is easily keeping 5 pallets of potatoes, onions and garlic at a constant 44 degrees.  We’ll put cabbage, carrots, beets and other storage crops in there for the winter to see how they hold up.  We’ll probably drop the temperature lower as well, and keep a close eye on the humidity level.

The packing shed is still a work in progress – all the construction is done, but we’re still figuring out the best configuration of tables, sinks and storage areas.  The covered outdoor area has been very useful all summer and fall.  Food safety is a lot easier when you can clean off a concrete slab at the end of each work day and indoor storage space is completely pest-proof.  The indoor part of the building stayed cool all summer long, so flats of ripening tomatoes and cured garlic were happy (it was 85 degrees outside and too cold in the cooler and root cellar). The fall crew and I are looking forward to washing potatoes indoors on a cold November day.  I’m confident that we’ll continue to find new perks in these buildings every year.

It’s that time of year when we need to gather many bags of leaves.  The garlic planting starts next week, and we’ll use the leaves as the bottom layer of mulch.  We top them with straw and the garlic cloves will stay at a consistent temperature through the winter months.  The mulch also acts as a weed suppressor in the spring, then feeds the soil after it is tilled into the garden in August.  If you have leaves that you have raked and bagged, and have not sprayed your lawn in at least a few months, I would love to come pick them up.  I can return your leaf bags in November if you would like.  They make a great compost if we have extra, and we would be happy to get hundreds of bags of leaves.  No yard waste or walnut leaves, please.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Reserve your pumpkins!

And, all of a sudden it's fall.  What a glorious change of weather we have had this week.  We have even had a light frost for the last four days.

We're doing lots of harvesting now: the last of the beans and tomatoes, more peppers, and some winter squash.  Yesterday, we cut all of the pumpkins, and we'll start bringing a few Jack-O-Lantern's to market each week (let me know if you would like to reserve a few).

The fall lettuces are getting sweeter each day, and we are now picking radishes, turnips and rutabaga.  Although the basil and dill are done, October is a great time for fresh cilantro and parsley. We also have kale, chard, beets, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, delicata squash and a few carrots and cucumbers.   And, don't forget about the cooking basics: onions, shallots, garlic and potatoes.

 Enjoy the beautiful weekend!

Erik and Sara