Field Notes. Ken has been planting inside as the weather between Thanksgiving and the December box is pretty unpredictable. There have been some years when we had greens from the hoopettes and greenhouses.
|fiber over greens in mobile high tunnel|
We were really glad to get the snow before this spell of frigid weather. I do feel bad about the difficult driving and other inconvenience snow can cause, but it is great for moisture and insulation in the garden. The blanket of snow slows down the frost going down deeper into the soil. The less the frost drops, the earlier we can get into the garden and field in spring. And there is also less damage to perennial crops like asparagus and fall planted crops like garlic and shallots
Ken continues at garden tasks - he will mulch the garlic on Friday, he has repairs to do as well. And he is switching focus to make some pottery orders so Santa can get them in time.
|from a few years back - once they all arrived|
We also spend this time planning for next season and getting next year's harvest dates calendar ready. I have done the seed inventory and gotten out the largest of the seed orders since we have found that late orders may mean the organic or our favorite varieties may be sold out!
From the Kitchen. Baking and roasting are becoming the norm as the cook stove has been lit each morning and I keep it going much of the day. I like the Russian banana potatoes for roasting. And onions and beets and carrots. I start the meat, and before it is done, I drain some of the cooking juices for gravy, and place the cleaned cut up vegetables in the roaster and then place the meat on top.
For small roasts, once they are done I remove them and put the vegetables in the pan with some olive oil and herbs and turn up the heat . I like to stir often so everything browns more evenly.
Brussels sprouts are such a treat. After it has gotten cold, they are sweeter and more flavorful. I usually steam them with carrots cut into match sticks sized pieces, but recently Ken and I had them roasted. They were good! I would never have thought of that. And friends are pickling them. Any way you decide to prepare them, enjoy the end of this seasonal favorite.
We treat the tops of the plants like cabbage - they are tender and sweet like the cabbage hearts. Here I sauteed a quarter of a red onion sliced into narrow wedges, added the chopped tops and cooked just until they turned brighter shade of green and wilted and then topped with tamari and mild vinegar. Any dressing or vinegar or lemon juice would be tasty
And like the Brussels sprouts, the last of the leeks for 2013 are in this box. I like leeks for their creamy texture. Ken has told me he has an improved cleaning method. He cuts off the roots, and then slices until he sees any hint of soil and THEN he cuts lengthwise to rinse. He says it is much easier and faster. I believe it and if I remember that is what I will try with the last of my leeks.
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the season. The next box is January 8th - Next Year!