Farm Happenings at Willowsford Farm
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The Wealth of Winter

Posted on December 5th, 2019 by Collin Thompson

Just like that, Farm-ily, the first week of Winter CSA is over and the second week begins. Time is a fickle friend in the colder months. The days grow shorter, and there seem to be so few of them between the bookends of the holidays. As the daylight weakens and our seasonal farm crew departs for the year, we have both less time and fewer hands to for farm chores. Despite this, our coolers are overflowing and our packing shed is lined with a bounty that astonishes even Farmer Collin!

One of my happiest surprises when I first became immersed in agriculture is the robustness of vegetables. We see it all over the farm in volunteer plants, sprung from discards and determined to take root in odd places where no one has fertilized or watered them. We notice with deep appreciation when our seedlings tolerate a capricious shift in the weather or when rows of crops do battle with invasive weeds for soil nutrients. Adversity may triumph at times, but plants seem to have a will of their own- a will to grow. The tenacity of our crops makes for a wonderfully diverse Winter offering, one we’ll prepare with gusto.

I’m taking special pleasure in this week’s meal plan, and all the delicious opportunities our harvest provides. Variety is my inspiration, and I hope it will be yours as well. If you dare to try something new, let it be kohlrabi! Kohlrabi isn’t often seen in chain grocers, or grown in backyard gardens. It’s a member of the cabbage family, sometimes referred to as a German turnip. Although it may look like an alien vegetal rosette, the texture is like a broccoli stem and the flavor is both mild and sweet. Yes, sweet! Kohlrabi, like most vegetables in the brassica family, sweetens considerably with exposure to the cold. Slice it in spears and dip it hummus (or Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Dip, if you have some handy). Pack it in your own lunchbox, or try this delicious side dish . I am willing to bet a good snuggle with a Farm dog that you’ll be surprised at how much you like it.

Meal Plan Week #2

Entrees

I love to make a whole Roasted Chicken on Sunday evenings. It feels special, but is largely “hands off”. Often the leftovers become part of lunches or another dinner later in the week, such as this filling, perfect Creamy Root Vegetable Chicken Stew.

In between chicken dishes, try Skillet Pork Chops with Beans and Spinach.

Your Instant Pot (or slow cooker) will erase all your memories of takeout with Cantonese Braised Beef and Radish.

For a lighter meal chock full of superfoods, this Cajun Salmon and Kale is delicious at both lunch and dinner.

Vegetarian Ideas

I love a good one pan meal, and these Skillet Root Vegetables do not disappoint.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Stew is warming and hearty.

Extra Credit

Sweet Potato Muffins … yum!