Farm Happenings at Hoot Owl Farm
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Pop-Up Week #4-A

Posted on October 20th, 2021 by Bonnie and Rudy Geber

Time to grab a box for next week! We can't say for sure that this will be our last Farm Stand box opportunity, but it might be and it is will certainly be the most diverse one left as we have all of our root vegetables available! Don't miss out on our bulk opportunities: carrots, beets, parsnips, radish and onions, as well as great items from other local producers. This week, we have absolutely delicious breads and bagels fresh baked by the Gracious Table, Farm Fresh eggs from happy hens at the Miller Farm, and super sweet honey from McLaury Apiaries. 

It's been a long and productive week on the farm! Bonnie actually managed a 1 week trip away to visit family in Minnesota, so that meant that Rudy kept things running at home. It turned out to be a much busier week than intended for him as there are a lot of extra tasks that come along with the first real cold spell. Namely deciding what's worth harvesting before it freezes and doing a lot of fast picking! In addition, there's keeping the nursery above freezing (still micros growing in there!), starting fires at home, lots of row covering, bringing in timers, filters, valves, etc., and a lot of other things we forget about for the summer. 

Bonnie returned home and the digging began. We dug all of our storage carrots, beets and parsnips this week and our backs are feeling it! We ended up with a good amount of carrots considering poor germination during a super hot spell in July. We didn't quite hit the timing on the beets, so we have less of those available than we'd intended, but if we hit it just right what would we strive for next year, right?! This was our first year growing parsnips and our initial impressions were that they are...WEIRD! Lol, seriously what a long root that can develop into some truly funky shapes. But parsnips are delicious and certainly worth growing, so we'll be continuing those and also likely planting a little bit earlier so that they have a chance to grow larger next season. If you haven't tried parsnips before, they are an excellent root vegetable - they have a sweetness similar to carrots, but with an earthy nuttiness. They are actually sweeter than carrots when cooked - most popularly roasted

Speaking of sweet root've probably heard that roots are generally sweeter after they've been through a frost or cold weather, but do you know WHY? It's actually a defense mechanism! Freezing can do a lot of damage to plants, namely it can squeeze and rupture the cells until they are completely demolished. Carrots, for example, have developed the physiological response of increasing their sugar content when it's cold outside. This helps stop ice crystal formations and prevents damage to the carrot's cells. SO, when a carrot defends itself from frost, we get the benefit of enjoying sweeter carrots all winter long.