News from the Farm | October 24, 2022

What are some of the happenings, sights, and sounds from the past week or so?


The members of the flower team are still picking the last of the fresh flowers in the field, but they have started on wreaths and dried flower bouquets. Wow! Each wreath is a work of art. In about an hour and half, they transform a wire frame, bunches of dried flowers, and thin wire into a masterpiece. Pro tip: the flowers spend a day or so in the cooler in advance to slightly rehydrate a bit and become more flexible.

These are just a few examples. Wreaths are available at all of our farmers markets, CSA members can order them for drop-off with their boxes. We also sell a limited number to various stores and florists in the Bay Area and to the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op.

The flower team has a busy week ahead! They’re getting spring’s flowers in the ground. They’ll be planting bulbs (like iris and anemones), corms (like ranunculus), seeds (like calendula), and transplants (like snapdragons) so that our spring flowers will start arriving in March!

Winter Squash!

So much winter squash! It’s amazing to see the diversity of shapes and colors, ranging from the long and thin pale butternut to small warty gourds to a few giant decorative pumpkins grown for fun. Particularly neat were the rows of canary-yellow spaghetti squash laying out to cure. The name “winter squash” is a bit of a misnomer. They grow in the summer, like summer squash, but we can store and use in the winter. But that’s a long name, so winter squash is easier, or we also call them “hard squash.”

Once cured, the squash are put into macrobins and stored in a barn until we’re ready to use them, at which point we’ll bring them down to the shop where they’ll be sorted and washed.


Unfortunately no photos, but over the course of two days the week of the 10th, the shaker machine drove around to all 12 acres of walnuts, plus a few outlier trees, and shook the trees to remove the nuts. The nuts were swept into rows, picked up, and put in a truck.

It’s a loud, dusty process. Now the nuts have been taken off to a huller where they’ll remove the green outer hull. After that, the in-shell walnuts will come back to the farm for shelling. This past week, we’ve had a team going through the orchard to prune back the trees. More about our walnut-harvesting process here.

Working Ground!

The roar of the walnut machines has been replaced by the constant hum and grumble of tractors as Miguel, Francisco, Joel, and Enrique go through summer crop fields. The photos above show a former tomato field before and after going through with a ripper implement. Some of those fields will be planted with a cover crop, a mix of grasses, legumes, and radishes that will eventually be mowed and incorporated into the soil. Other beds will soon be filled with seeds and transplants.
It’s not quite as beautiful as a wreath, but a field of perfectly prepped beds (like the ones after Joel went through with a bed shaper) is a great site to see too.

– Elaine Swiedler, CSA Manager