Happy, Groundhog day! We'll be dropping off your veggies Thursday, February 2nd and we'll be watching with bated breath if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow or not. Winter hasn't been that hard or long this year except for some really cold early snaps. The daylight hours have now extended to beyond 10 hours per day which marks a new period of growth for the crops in the greenhouses. As long as we get sunny days, we start to see increasing rates of growth in February but not fast enough to allow us to deliver veggies every week. We're still set for just every other week (Feb 2 and Feb 16th) for the month of February. But we'll be increasing the frequency to weekly starting March 2nd.
Bugs in the salad
Not to gross you out, but you've probably already noticed super tiny green aphids on your lettuce or spinach. We're so used to them, that we sometimes forget that these aren't normal to folks if they're used to purchasing their greens in the supermarket. These guys are harmless to humans but in large enough quantities they can inhibit plant growth as they suck nutrients from the leaves of greens. We don't use chemical sprays to control them because we don't use any chemicals on the farm. At one point we did use some organic approved natural pesticides to control them, but those things (even though safe for humans) will also kill the good bugs at the same time. So we stopped using them regularly years ago. Instead we focus on helping good biology thrive. Unfortunately the deep winter temperatures are cold enough to cause the eaters of these bugs to go dormant but it's warm enough in the greenhouses for the aphids to continue reproducing. As a result, we get a good number of aphids this time of year. We tend to just rinse with water and serve but if you put your salad on a white plate and watch closely, you may noticed tiny green things walking around on the plate. Maybe not the most appetizing thing for dinner guests. We literally ignore the aphids and go ahead eating our salad knowing we're eating aphids too. But we understand that can be too much for some folks. They're really hard to wash off but if they bother you, you can wash your greens with a drop of dawn dish soap in the water to help them release. But to get 100% removal is hard to ensure. The reason you don't see these aphids on supermarket lettuce, even organic lettuce, is because those growers ARE probably using pesticides to control bugs. Or they are shipped in from a climate that is warm enough to keep the aphids dormant (we don't usually struggle with these in summer). So, the aphids are something we choose to live with since we're growing in winter and not using pesticides on our greens. We hope this is something you can support as well, even if it is "different".
Last Call for Ginger and Turmeric
I feel like I've said this before, but this time we really mean it. We've cleared out all of the remaining ginger and turmeric from the greenhouse and we've got a good inventory of what we have so we'll be getting it all out to ya'll this week. The turmeric is in really good condition because it all grows underground and was protected by the soil from the record cold at Christmas. We'll be bagging in larger bags so as to allow you to stock up and freeze for future use. We hope you'll take it all so we don't have to freeze all of it for our own use.
The ginger is not in excellent condition. The super cold we had, damaged some of the plants and caused some softness on the tips that were exposed above the soil line. Most of it is still very usable if you can refrigerate it and freeze most of it soon. You may have to cut off some softer parts on the tops. The parts of the roots that were protected by the soil (most of the rhizomes) are still fine. We're making extra large portions of ginger and discounting the price so you can salvage it and put it to good use. It's still really tasty and good for you, just not 100% will be usable.
Bread and Cheese
Farm to Market Rosemary Olive Oil Artisan Loaf
Hemme Brothers Quark Jar
We enjoy the slower pace of winter, but we're really glad to be able to serve you this winter. Thanks for giving us something to do and helping us drag ourselves out into the grey cold. Most veggie farmers take off all winter, but I'm afraid we'd go stir crazy. The break we get is just enough to prepare us for the frenetic activity of spring and summer without letting us get too lethargic and lazy. Even so, I've put on a few pounds (Dave talking here), so I'll be ready to burn those off this spring. Thanks again for eating with us and supporting your local farmer family.