Wednesday, January 8, 2014

CSA Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This box has salad mix, cabbage, onions, shallots garlic, squash, potatoes, celery root, kohlrabi, rutabaga, carrots and beets.

Field Notes.  Everyone thinks farmers take the winter off - hah!  Ken plants greens for the salad mix, cleans seeds he has saved, shells dry corn, shells hazelnuts, and more.  I have gotten in the bulk of the seed orders, contacted the deer damage folks for 2014 agricultural tags, started getting the CSA mailing ready, and we both are monitoring root cellar and cold storage.  This is also the time of year we look at the last season and discuss changes for the coming season.  If we only got two orders for chard all season long, should we be growing it?

This cold weather and snow have made for some hungry and desperate deer.  The dog is barking them out of the garden a couple times most nights, and they have crossed the fence in the field and are looking for food.  Ken has mulched and covered the strawberries and other long season and perennial crops, but there are no guarantees!  I have called for agricultural tags so we can reduce the population before damage is worse,  Once they make the field a stop on their route, we suffer heavy losses.  We have lost two hundred feet of beets in a single night.

From the Kitchen.  with this cold we are really going through wood.  Since I have the cook stove going, I have been doing lots of soups and stews.  I brown meat in a cast iron Dutch oven and add onions, stock and herbs.  After about an hour (depending on the size of the piece of meat) I add vegetables.  Usually this winter I have added minced celery root, and some carrots, rutabaga and kohlrabi chunks.  I then bake some potatoes. I braise some cabbage and voila - a meal.

The beets and cabbage would also make a great borscht.  I usually use chicken, chicken stock, onion, beets and cabbage in borscht.  A dollop of sour cream or yogurt tops each bowl as I serve it.  Great with a crusty rye bread.

Ken has been perfecting his brassica au gratin.  His last batch included cabbage in addition to the kohlrabi and rutabaga.  
He has also been perfecting his rutabaga pancake as the egg supply allows
And he has made all the Christmas and New Year's treats this year.  He is in the kitchen early mornings and later in the evening once it gets dark.

Happy New Year!  'Til Next Month, Judith

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