Signs of autumn have begun to appear in the garden. The nights are getting cooler and the air is still crisp and chilly when we start working in the morning. Students have arrived back at St. Mike's, bringing the campus to life. We have even already spotted a few colorful autumn leaves beginning to fall! In the garden, this is a time of transition. Some of our crops, such as the snap peas, beets, and scallions have already seen their final harvest of the season. Other crops are just now beginning to develop. Butternut and Delicata winter squash are visible beneath their sprawling vines, and pumpkins are turning orange. It seems a little early to be in the mood for pumpkins, but they are ready for making pies!
We are taking advantage of the newly empty space in the garden by planting a crop of fall greens. We have planted a few varieties of lettuce and spinach which will be ready for harvest in a month or so. As the temperatures continue to drop, we will replace the shade nets with row covers to protect from frost damage. Using row covers is a great way to extend the growing season, especially in places like Vermont with such short summers. The row covers will consist of clear plastic sheeting draped over PVC pipe hoops. We are excited to have a fresh supply of greens for delicious fall salads!