Many thanks to Peter for covering the column for an extra week while my family and I took a much needed vacation off-Island. We headed up to my in laws’ house in Jackson, N.H., and enjoyed a week of hikes, bike rides, camping and canoe adventuring as we watched the leaves take on their autumn hue. It was our first time off-Island since February, and the respite after a hectic and often overwhelming season was much needed.

It is always refreshing to return to the Island after being away. In the Slip Away fields, the shift to cooler, wetter weather has left our fall crops looking their best. Our dahlias are beginning to come into their own, the zinnias are still holding on strong, and we have one last burst of sunflowers. The radishes, turnips, salad greens, arugula, kale, chard, and sweet peppers are all abundant and even the tomatoes are giving one last push. I harvested the first big batch of our ginger, grown in the greenhouse, this morning for our CSA. Some of the plants generated roots the size of soccer balls. This plant is my favorite to grow: the tops look a bit like bamboo shoots and emit a soft gingery scent. The roots, light yellow and pink in color, have a bright flavor, a bit milder than the ginger purchased at the grocery store.

Normally, we close the farm stand after the first weekend in October; in the past, there simply has not been enough demand to keep going later into the season. This year is like no other, however, and it seems that the crowds have not yet departed. I plan on remaining open on a week-by-week basis for as long as we have the food and the customers. Thank you all for supporting us this summer.

Be sure to drive slowly these days, the deer are on the move. My sister in law and her husband counted nine of them on their trip home from Chappy to Chilmark the other evening. If you have the unfortunate experience of hitting one, you can call the communication center at 508-693-1212 and they will dispatch an officer and/or the highway department to assist as needed.

A reminder to all that the UPS shipping container is open from 7 to 5:30 every day except Sunday. The company added a shipping station, a communications box to leave messages for the driver, and posted the office phone number and hours. The UPS office is open Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. and can be reached by calling 508-693-7023. All alcoholic shipments cannot be left at the container unless you are present to show your ID to the driver; otherwise, they will need to be picked up at the main office.