Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden.  This week's CSA box has salad and braising greens, potatoes, shallots, garlic, onions, carrots, storage beets, rutabaga and kohlrabi.

Field Notes.  A friend told us we "gear up for spring like no one else."  And there is probably some truth to that for all farmers.  Whatever we can do to get ready ahead of time, we do.  Because once spring hits there is so much to do all at once.  Ken will be planting in greenhouses this week.  He continues starting seeds inside.  We are wrapping up first phase of wood - more will follow as we assess shaded areas that will need sun for crops to grow.  And very soon we will dig the over wintered roots.

We were fortunate enough to attend the Upper Midwest Organic Conference this year.  Because a friend farm sat we could both go.  There were many good workshops on topics from compost to worms not quite a - z, but you get the idea).  We also got to attend the contra dance Friday night and a friend snapped this photo on her phone - proof that farmers can have fun!

Ken has been gifted some red wiggler worms for his new vermiculture project.  He had to figure out how they would fit in on this farm, and once he did, they are here.  He plans to give them the stems and roots from the winter greens harvest. Go worms!

I am still weaving, and Ken is finishing up winter pottery orders and and sculptural pieces.  He will be part of an exhibition in Hammond called Motion at the Hammond Arts Alliance March 21st and 22nd.  Check their face book page for details.  Hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/hammondartsalliance

From the Kitchen.  Braising greens and salad greens.  We like to extend the season to include these in the box.  Greens lose their nutrition rapidly after harvest,  Ken read a couple winters ago that spinach has very little nutrition after a week to ten days - about the time it takes from California!  I trim, rinse, and pack the day you get your box for this reason.   Braising greens are zippy, and some people include them in their raw salads, while others folks back down the zip by either making a salted, pressed salad  (Asia)  or wilting in a skillet or in a bowl of hot broth (European).

I also have been trying to eat local in winter.  This is a personal challenge as it is so easy for us to eat local - the back yard - in summer and I often think of Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle or Joan Dye Gussow's book This Organic Life.  Each wanted to maximize local food consumption and avoid eating a diet of processed and well traveled food.  Gussow cites the example of people offering her a 2 calorie strawberry that requires 4 calories to travel from California to her home in New York state!  I do use preserved foods - dry beans, frozen meat and vegetables, dried onions, cultured vegetables like sauerkraut.

As we head into spring, thank you for your support, and we hope to continue growing for you next season.  'Til March 25th, Judith

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