Meet Your Farmer | Claire Santa

September 13, 2022

Claire Santa

Farms for the Future
Quail Hill Farm

Greetings! My name is Claire (they/she), and I am an advanced apprentice here at Quail Hill as well as a pottery studio assistant under Nancy Robbins in Sag Harbor. As a scientist/farmer/artist, I appreciate Quail Hill’s effort to cultivate a beautiful natural space for observation, contemplation, experimentation, community and creative expression.

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” - Albert Einstein

I am writing to you while still drying out after a wet Tuesday morning. Although the entire crew has wet socks, we and the plants are incredibly grateful for the rain. I felt I needed a bit of watering myself! In regards to changing weather, fall is once again creeping up on us. We just planted our last direct sowing (radishes, turnips, carrots, etc.) and the last transplanted crops for fall (sprouting broccoli, cauliflower, leeks). And fear not… I think there is also one more round of lettuce! 😉 As some of you may know, autumn is the best kept secret out here! Warm days and cool nights, and golden hour hits just right.

But! Let us not get too ahead of ourselves. Although we have many fall crops to look forward to, the summer favorites will still be around for a little while longer (thank you mild USDA zone 7b!). Round two of tomatoes are finally showing first blush and there are plenty of watermelon to be enjoyed. An insider tip for picking a good melon… while the “hollow” sound when flicked or knocked is often a good indication of a ripe melon, the “ground spot” i.e. the place where the melon touched the ground before being harvested is also an excellent indicator. A melon with a ground spot that is large and more yellow in color means the melon had more time to ripen on the vine and is typically sweeter! The crows have a penchant for finding the melons in the field, which provides the perfect imagery for this time of year: a mascot of autumn picking away at the exemplar of summer.


Adapted from a note to Quail Hill Farm members by Claire Santa, Quail Hill Farm Apprentice. Interested in joining Quail Hill Farm? Visit our website to sign up for the Summer or Winter share.

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