The Fifth Winter Share
Free ranging chickens are protected by Borci and Gabriel near the new compost pile downhill from the herb garden.
Gabriel provides quality control of mixed greens that were harvested last week.
Notes From The Field
Springtime in December
By Derek McGeehan
A record breaking high temperature today of 70 degrees, windows on the house open, only 9 hours or so of daylight, the sun extremely low on the horizon, and no chirping insects or birds. Quite an interesting combination for the middle of December, though I'll repeat that continuing to harvest fresh outside greens is a very nice treat. This will be the final week for lettuces, however, because the mature heads did sustain some frost damage whenever it was actually cold enough to do that and their quality is going downhill. Fear not, though, because kale, arugula, collards, cabbage, spinach, and a few other fresh greens are still looking grade A and harvestable. I do wonder if we will ever have an actual winter this year and we must, right? Can we rely on that consistency, or will this season fully blend into next season without an end to the growing season? I see in the news media that leaders from around the world got together to figure out the climate change issue and perhaps devise some way to curb global temperature rise at 3.6 degrees fahrenheit. Right now that feels relevant but last year at this time when the northeast US was the only place in the world with below average temperatures I was definitely wondering.
The greens in the high tunnel are holding their beauty. Meanwhile I show Gabriel how to harvest mixed greens.
Here on the farm we're mainly focused on growing crops organically (only certified by you) and trying to improve and sustain soil health and quality while also attempting to limit our fossil fuel reliance. We don't use draft horses yet but Dana does keep bringing that up. In a perfect world it would be nice to farm completely in balance with Mother Nature but someone will have to define for me what that means exactly. Let's all do our best to keep the planet healthy for our kids and theirs.
Kohlrabi and Turnips Reappear
By Derek McGeehan
Winter Harvest #5 (Week A) should include potatoes, butternut winter squash, kohlrabi, garlic, salad turnips, arugula, lettuce, kale, parsley, collards, cabbage, radishes, and fennel. Some items will be a choice.
Fall ideas for Hakurei Turnips and Kohlrabi
By Linda Dansbury
It seems that most of the time I focus newsletters on methods that will not heat up the kitchen - with this weather I guess I should be doing the same thing!
However, my cooking methods shift in the fall/winter so when Derek sent me this week's harvest I thought about the kohlrabi and hakurei turnips and how I will use them. Both can be eaten raw as a snack or sliced thin and added to salads - which is something I know I have discussed in the past. Here are a couple of things you might not know:
Kohlrabi - they are delicious roasted! I have most often combined them with other fall veggies when roasting, but they are great roasted by themselves. Cut into slices about 1/4" thick and then cut into half moons. Toss in olive oil, sliced garlic, salt and pepper and spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast in a 450 degree oven for 15-20 min turning occasionally to brown evenly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Place back in oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Very yummy!!
Hakurei Turnips - if your family likes glazed carrots, this method is likely to be a success! If turnips have tops, remove and reserve. Place turnips into a saute pan and place water halfway up the sides of the turnips. Add about 1 Tablespoon each of butter and sugar and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally until tender and liquid is getting syrupy. If turnips are tender before liquid is syrupy, remove turnips to a serving plate and cook liquid down a bit. When to a nice consistency, add the turnip greens (or other if no turnip tops - such as escarole or endive) and cook until just wilted. Add the greens to the plate and serve.