Farm Happenings at Flat Tack Farm
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Farm Happenings for November 22nd, 2022

Posted on November 15th, 2022 by Kelly Peters

Welcome to the final share of the season- The Cornucopia Box!

We've got lots of goodies for the box next Tuesday (Nov 22nd).  We're sending you the swap list early so we can pre-plan for our harvest and the farmers market this weekend and make sure to hold your items. 

Some new items this week are:

Leeks & Scallions

Brussels Sprouts from Volehalla Farm in Ridgefield, WA

Watermelon Radishes

Radicchio with beautiful red leaves and a nice bite!  Remember- bitter is better ;)  As well as Sugar loaf chicory, a hearty green with a sweet balance to add to the sometimes common bitterness.  One prep tip from the chef's is to soak the radicchio or chicory in an ice water bath to mellow out the bitterness.  But honestly, after the frost hits- it does this for you and converts the starches to sugars and makes for better flavor.

Lots of Winter Squash and a few new varieties this season that we've never grown before!  Like Thelma Sanders' Sweet Potato which is actually just a tan colored Acorn Squash and Pink Banana.  If you're fairly new to winter squash- check out this guide here:   Did you know that most of the "pumpkins" that go into pumpkin pie cans is actually Kabocha squash?  It's much sweeter and makes wonderful pies!  I've eaten these straight out of the oven with a little cinnamon sprinkled on.  We also do have pie pumpkins and larger sized pumpkins.  Another delicious variety is the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin- with it's buff colored skin and thinner flesh.  It's got excellent flavor as well and can be used for pies or to make soup or stir fry.

We had a very small harvest of Delicata Squash this year due to pest pressure and plants disappearing (I think to slugs and voles?)  But to make up for it, the Butternut squash did really well this season.

On the greens side of things we'll have a beautiful braising mix with kale, collards, rainbow chard, tatsoi, broccoli leaves, and more!  We'll also be harvesting all of our baby romaine lettuces.  These cute little crunchy lettuces are a perfect single serving size.  For the shares we'll do a mix of 2-3 heads per unit.

On the storage side of the spectrum- we've got garlic, popcorn, dark chocolate hazelnut butter, hazelnuts, and dry beans to add to the pantry.  As well as honey from our farm (Thank you to Vancouver Bee Project for tending to the bees and helping us keep our fields well pollinated), hot sauces, chili salt and my newest project- BLACK GARLIC!!!  I'm going to be infusing Organic Olive Oil with the black garlic. 

Black Garlic is regular garlic that undergoes a fermentation process where it is kept at a specific temperature and humidity to initiate a Millard reaction (similar to caramelizing onions or browning meat in a sauce pan) except that it takes anywhere from 1-3 weeks for this process to happen.  It makes the garlic turn black and has a delightful sweet taste with added nutrient benefits!  My friend refer's to them as sweet garlic gummies.  The texture is a bit like a gummy candy.   
Eventually we plan to sell black garlic by the bulb, but for this week- we've got just enough to infuse oil.  Keep an eye out on our instagram or facebook page for the release of black garlic bulbs!

What's happening at the farm?

Our final planting of the year is going in this week- garlic!  Squeek has been "helping" us in the east plot to prepare the beds for planting.  This year we're using black landscaping fabric to plant into for weed control and to minimize labor hours when harvesting and weeding.  We normally mulch with straw, but it has been increasingly harder to find straw that is organic and not sprayed with herbicides!  Underneath the landscape fabric we've added organic amendments for nutrition, lime to adjust pH, and compost for organic matter.   We'll also be doing a row of overwintering Walla Walla onions. 

Other than that- it's all about clean up.  We pull old plants to compost, tractor the chickens through beds to help eat bugs/pests and add some fertilizer, and roll up irrigation lines.  Usually in winter time, we take it easier and work on our office side of the operation.  Crop planning, ordering seeds and supplies, budgeting, dream boards for the following season and getting much needed R&R. 

We will keep the farm fridge stocked with eggs as available and other veggies too!  Be sure to keep an eye out on our social media for new items coming to the farm fridge.

Thank you all for supporting us throughout the season and we hope you enjoy the cornucopia share!

With gratitude and warmest wishes,

Kelly & Patrick