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News and Notes
from the Field

Posts Filtered by Month - November 2015 |
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November 29, 2015
Into December We Go
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
December arrives this week with a continued forecast of above average and mild temperatures. We're definitely not complaining because it is wonderful to continue harvesting fresh crops from the fields. Some crops that we've been seeing for a while come to an end this week: cauliflower, radicchio, probably sweet potatoes. A few crops make a triumphant return, too: greens mix, collards, beets. The kale you'll be receiving this week is the curly leaf variety that is harvested with one cut on the stem. Most of the cold hardy crops that have survived this far into the season that remain unprotected (curly and russian kale, collards, napa cabbage, regular cabbage, rutabaga, turnips, radishes) appear to be set to make it into January. The greens mix this week comes from the high tunnel. This crop, when mature, doesn't tolerate low temperatures as well as the arugula and kale that it shares the space with so we're harvesting it now while it looks perfect. Next week we'll start on the arugula in there, too, after we finish the patch that remains in the field. We hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving!
A big sky and a protective winter rye and hairy vetch cover crop, a scene from late fall.
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November 29, 2015
A Return of Beets, Mix, Collards
Expected Harvest
By Derek McGeehan
Winter Harvest #3 (Week A) should include potatoes, winter squash, beets, arugula, kale, butterhead lettuce, radicchio, garlic, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, cabbage, fennel, greens mix, and collards. Some items will be a choice. U-pick should include herbs.
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November 22, 2015
Cold Heading Our Way
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
The deepest cold of the season thus far is forecast for early this week, followed by a return to above average temperatures. It will be interesting to observe what the actual low bottoms out at here at the farm; normally we're below the forecasted low. We will also be wondering if the next magical temperature threshold will be passed - about 25 degrees - where mildly sensitive cold hardy crops with a higher water content are damaged. I think they'll be okay. Soon it will be December and by then only the toughest and strongest should survive anyway. Plus, having a reduced footprint to think and worry about is always a slight relief.
I'm still measuring rainfall at the farm, which feels rare for this late in the season. I normally cease when we either begin to receive snow and/or frequent heavy frost or I mentally feel tractor work is completed for the season. I must still be holding out for some final flail mowing and light tillage of some fall crops to either break up the pest cycle or get a jump on spring growing. That last part I really don't want to fully acknowledge now because it is way too early to begin thinking about the next growing season. Of course pretty soon we will fully embrace planning and preparing for next year by buying seeds, ordering supplies, updating our crop rotation and planting schedules, as well as finalizing our CSA plans and employment needs. For now, though, we're thankful for the 1.2 inches of rainfall, bright starry night skies, drying wind, continued harvests, and of course family time. Happy Thanksgiving!
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November 22, 2015
Another Week of Thanks
Expected Harvest
By Derek McGeehan
Winter Harvest #2 (Week B) should include potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, garlic, radicchio, kale, arugula, butterhead lettuce, celery, cauliflower, fennel, cabbage, onions, and radishes. Some items will be a choice. U-pick should include herbs.
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November 15, 2015
The Next Chapter
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
We're embarking on the 4th annual Winter CSA this week amid what feels like a mild autumn. This was the type of autumn that initially inspired us to extend the growing season and offer additional CSA shares and was also what we enjoyed during the first season, 2012. The two years in between this year and the first felt more like growing produce in January and February, not November and December. Can we thank El Nino? Or is this more normal? I'm not sure. After 7 seasons at Anchor Run I've come to expect the unexpected, weather wise. Having too many rigid expectations would narrow our vision and allow the farm to become totally mechanized and streamlined, I perceive. We're able to withstand the vagaries of the weather and its forecast because we're diverse; we grow hundreds of varieties of crops over 9 months on perhaps 13 acres, fallowing 5 acres, rotating plant families around the farm. Crops tolerate different conditions, temperatures, moisture, so having diversity guarantees something will survive, or thrive. We're always thankful for good growing conditions.
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November 15, 2015
Welcome to the Winter CSA
Other News
By Linda Dansbury
This year we have decided to expand the newsletter during the Winter CSA. We find ourselves cooking differently starting at this time of the year for a couple of reasons: it is colder and darker, so the body craves richer, stronger flavors; and, we cook differently for and with family and friends for the holidays.
I will have a column or 2 when there are new items and when I cook something that is different - especially if it is fitting to serve as part of a holiday meal. Although we won't formally have Members Ideas and Suggestions for this 6 week CSA, if you have a recipe that is special in your family for the holidays and incorporates the bounty of Anchor Run, please send it to me at lindadansbury@comcast.net.
We are not receiving a new veggie this week, but I do want to mention the kale we received last week, because it is more tender, almost delicate, so it needs to be treated differently than the kale we receive the rest of the year. It is excellent in stir fries - try it in the Easy Korean Beef recipe that is on this site. Delicious and fast and easy!
I assisted in a winter squash demo at the Wrightstown Farmers Market yesterday and made a recipe that was easy, but delicious - a lot of people that tried it plan on making it. Not only is it delicious - it is also really beautiful! It is called Honey Glazed Roasted Squash. If you still have your delicata squash, the skin doesn't have to be peeled and it looks especially beautiful. Enjoy
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