I hope you've gotten a chance to enjoy the wonderful weather the last few weeks! And the sunsets--Wow! It's hard to believe its December already. The days are at their shortest but we've had so many clear skies, I don't even mind. I know, if you're stuck in a windowless office job, you still might not see the sun on these short days. I'm sorry. I remember those days myself.
This good weather has meant we've had time to knock out some long overdue projects around the farm. It's dry, too dry in many respects, but since it is dry, we've been working on getting farm roads built up and drainage issues resolved. If you thought our driveway was bad, you should have seen our interior lanes we take to bring the veggies in. Some of them were so bumpy and full of mud holes that only 4-wheel drive UTV's could get there and the challenge was keeping stacks of tubs of veggies from bouncing out the back into mud pits. During the main season, we're so focused on planing, preparation, and harvesting that we don't have time to focus on the niceties of roads and culverts and the like, and often winter when we do have time is too muddy to do that sort of work. So we're glad to take advantage of some warm dry winter weather. Once we get the work done, we'll be hoping for some moisture for our crops like onions, garlic, spinach, carrots, leeks and soil building cover crops that need some water (we've already had to winterize our field irrigation system, so we're depending on rain and snow for the outdoor crops. In the tunnels, we have frost free water sources so the bulk of the winter crops are in no danger from dry conditions).
Upcoming CSA Dates:
Our last weekly CSA deliveries before our deep winter schedule are December 9 and 16. We will be turning down the thermostat in the ginger greenhouse after the 16th, so we'll be harvesting all remaining ginger and turmeric (there is still a lot) on the 16th. Some of you have been asking when to stock up for winter to freeze a bunch of ginger. That will be the last opportunity.
Originally the plan was to take almost 10 weeks off from CSA deliveries before picking back up with weekly deliveries on March 3rd. As much as we'd like an extended holiday from the grinding farm schedule, as we examine the condition of the high tunnel crops and think through their growth patters even in deep winter, we just don't think we can leave the crops alone for that long. Thy'll need at least a few harvests to keep them in top condition for the big main winter CSA start up in March. So Here's the tentative plan: We're planning on adding 3 weeks scattered through this deep winter break: January 7, January 28, and February 18. Based on feedback we received it sounds like you'd like some extra weeks to keep you in at least some fresh food during the deep winter. So that's the tentative plan. We'll be working with Harvie to add those weeks to the season. If you had planned on taking that break off from veggies just like we had, and don't want veggies those weeks, you'll be free to skip them as usual in Harvie. Since it won't be weekly pickups there's more of a chance for you to forget the pickup day since you'll be out of routine, so you will need to add some reminders and/or keep a close eye on your email for these CSA customization and delivery emails. Nothing is set in stone right now, but just letting you know what we are thinking.
Ginger: it's been so productive and so prevalent and we only have this week and the next to get it all out of the ground, so don't be bashful.
Daikon radish: Oh My, these are so amazing and so huge! Pound for Pound, they're for sure the best deal with regards to nutrient value for the money. I know they aren't a normal staple in the American diet, but our time in China got us hooked on them and we're on a mission to help make them catch on here. Substitute them for potatoes (they're better for you) in all kinds of dishes. They're a broccoli family vegetable so they have a ton of great nutrients in them and they can only be grown in the fall, so this is something you can't get locally in summer, so it's a real seasonal delight. Plus they'll store in the fridge for weeks, so you can stock up to keep yourself in fresh veggies even for the weeks when we won't be having CSA deliveries. If you aren't sure how to use them, check out the conversation on the private CSA Facebook page. Our family has been on "a Daikon a day" kick because we have a lot of them and they're so dang tasty and healthy!
Bread and Cheese
BTW, if you've been receiving cheese, please don't throw away those icepacks. I know they say "one use only" but we hate to send those to the landfill, so if you don't want to reuse them yourself, we will. You can leave them along with the big liner bag if you wish in the empty stack of totes at your pickup location. Always glad to reuse whenever possible.
Bread for the week: Sourdough Artisan Loaf
Cheese Share: Either Hemme Brothers Garlic Dill Curds or Brother's Keeper block (sorry for the uncertainty, it depends on what Hemme Brothers has available)
Have a great week!
Dave and Sheri