I love October, most of the time. The colors, the freshness of the morning, the early darkness in the evening. It just tells you that it’s time to slow down. Unfortunately, we need to plug harder and faster to get things done before it really gets cold and wet and frozen!

This year we have a very nice squash crop! We had some nice delicata, and we have many very nice spaghetti, acorns, jester, and carnivals. The kabocha are wonderful, and I just like their orange color, which matches the jersey of the best soccer team in the world (well almost the best most of the time. It is the one we cheer for!) and this squash makes wonderful “pumpkin” pies.

If you are in Sioux Falls this season stop in and try a slice at Queen City Bakery. I quote the pastry chef: “Those Kabocha squash are amazing! They make a great pumpkin pie.”

The carrots we seeded for fall are not quite ready; we checked this morning again, and we will wait and see. They have grown very slowly. The last 3 beds from the earlier seeding have a lot of rot and not-so-nice stuff going on because we had too much rain on them earlier this season.

We’re harvesting celery and celeriac now. The celery is very bushy, very dark green, and the flavor is intense. This crop takes the longest of all crops to grow: We seed it in February, transplant it out in mid to late May and watch it grow slowly till October! We include it once each year to give our fall customers a taste of local celery. We suggest chopping it and freezing it if you can not use it all this week. Celeriac looks much like celery on top but has a different root.

We began pulling out the tomatoes in Tunnel 3 this week, Friday/Saturday mornings cold were a bit too much, and they called it a season. We will pull them out, compost the beds, and let it rest for the winter. We also plan on planting garlic this week and next.

–John Wesselius