Changing of the Seasons

Food Studies students and IF Farm interns harvest butternut and acorn squash to be rinsed prior to storage.

It is with a mixture of begrudging acceptance and exhausted relief that I welcome the changing of the seasons. The days are cooler, shorter…but there are few, if any, full and juicy tomatoes – still warm from the sun – ripe to be picked and eaten fresh from the vine. We took what may be the last tomato harvest of the season this afternoon.

As the seasons transform, so too does the farm. Once vibrant Summer plants have withered. They devoted Summer to soaking up the sun’s energy and creating a bounty of food for us to enjoy. Now that we have reaped what nutrition we could from the plants, their remaining energy will be transferred back into the soil to supply nutrients for crops yet hiding in their seeds, anticipating Spring for sprouting.

Food Studies students and IF Farm interns harvest butternut and acorn squash to be rinsed prior to storage.
Food Studies students and IF Farm interns harvest butternut and acorn squash to be rinsed prior to storage.

The Fall, with its chilled evenings and dewy mornings, allows for a whole new face of the farm to emerge. Winter squash, planted 105 days ago when it seemed the heat would never relent, is now being harvested. And cold-hearty Brassicas – cabbage, kale, lettuce – as well as tuberous vegetables like carrots, daikon radish, and beets, are all beginning to mature and bring a whole new flavor to the farm.