Forager Finds: Better Late than Never

Ocean House

For the home gardener and the professional farmer getting the most out of the patch of land they sow and reap is not only of great importance, but a matter of pride!

For the professional, it’s their livelihood. But for the home gardener, it is the time of year to keep a little extra grocery money in your pocket and flex your own creative culinary skills.

What on Earth are we going to do with all of these green peppers?!

W

hen the pros plan out their crop for the year, they think about when crops sprout, peak, finish producing, and when to pull them out. Now, for a farmer, having an empty space of field is money lost. This is where the planning comes in and where we learn about the Second or “late planting” crops.

What are the vegetables we New Englanders associate with fall? Beets? Turnips? Broccoli? Celery? These are all late planting crops. These are also crops that can be planted in the spring, harvested in the summer, pulled up and then replanted in August. Other late planting crops are kale, peas, and radishes. What this means for farmers and home gardeners alike is that we can get more out of our fields than just a single harvest from a single planting.

The first time these crops are planted, they are normally pulled from the soil when they’re small and tender, when they can be cooked and consumed right away. On the other hand, the late-planted crops are typically left to mature in the ground as the days grow shorter and the nights get cooler. This prepares the crops to last longer in storage and go further on the table when less and less can be harvested from the field.

So, this August, as your garden starts to finish up, and plants stop producing, consider a second planting on your own patch of land! Your Thanksgiving dinner will thank you.