Thanksgiving Produce (And Cranberries!)

We will have an abundance of fall produce available at the Ashland Farmer’s Market Thanksgiving sale!  Below is a list of the produce we will have available.  Follow the links to check out special recipes for each item:

Lettuce, Kale, Spinach, Parsley, Celery, Brussles Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Beets, Sweet Turnips, Red and Yellow Onions, Red/Yellow/Blue/Russet Potatoes, Garlic, Leeks, Sweet Potatoes, Rutabaga, Kohlrabi, Celeriac, Broccoli and Winter Squash (Butternut, Acorn, Delicatta, Sunshine, Bon-Bon, Baby Blue Hubbard, Pie Pumpkin and Carnival).

We will also have Cranberries!!

wills cranberries 2017We have bought in 100 pounds of dry-harvests heirloom cranberries grown with IPM practices from my friend Will McAffrey of Spring Rain Farm in Taunton, MA.  He’s a smart, dedicated farmer looking to build a fruit-based farm on his family’s land .  We are happy to be supporting him and helping spread his cranberry love this Thanksgiving.

Below is some information about the cranberries:

Early Blacks – super dark variety discovered in Harwich, MA in 1852, highest in antioxidants of all cranberries, makes a gorgeous deep red sauce

Howes – discovered in 1843 in East Dennis, MA, renowned in pre-refrigeration days for their incredible keeping qualities.  In a walk-in cooler they have been known to last until May.

“Growing practices:
Cranberries are a difficult crop to produce in MA because they are native to here, i.e. any pests and diseases evolved to attack cranberries are here.  As such, it is extremely difficult to produce them organically – that being said, we use integrated pest management techniques to reduce pesticide applications everywhere possible.  The heirloom varieties are a little more resilient as well.
The typical cranberry operation makes 4-5 fungicide and 4-5 insecticide applications a season.  Between scouting for pests, working closely with the UMass Cranberry Station, and a risky technique called ‘late watering’ we only made 2 applications of fungicides and insecticides this season.   On two occasions we did spot treatments of herbicide this summer, meaning we wiped individual weeds growing on the bog but did not spray any cranberry vines themselves (cranberries are extremely susceptible to most herbicides). Most of our weeding is done by hand.
Late water simply means we flood the bog in the spring after pest activity has started, and keep the vines submerged for 30 days.  This drowns any pests present on the bog and keeps other populations from establishing and building at a time critical for their development, drastically reducing our pest pressure.  The water also protects the vines from frost while submerged.  The risky aspects of it are that warm temperature bursts can remove oxygen from the water and suffocate the vine, the vine itself is especially vulnerable to late frosts after the water is drained off, and algae can develop and out-compete the vine for sunlight.
Unlike most growers, we also maintain a large amount of diverse natural area (wetland, forest, and field) around the bogs, leaving most of the habitat undisturbed by crop production.  The cranberry station has noted much higher populations of wild pollinators on our bogs than those of other growers, in part due to our reduced spray program and in part from maintaining this diverse natural area.”

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