Winter CSA Week 5: Freeze, Thaw, Theeze, Fraw
Celeriac, Celery Root, Knob Celery Arrives
By Derek McGeehan
Winter Harvest #5 (Week A) should include sweet potatoes, garlic, rosemary, lettuce mix, cabbage (red, green, napa), root choice #1 (daikon, scarlet turnips, kohlrabi), root choice #2 (beets, celeriac) and greens (baby kale, spinach, greens mix).
Notes From The Field
Another Thaw as Solar Winter Nears End
By Derek McGeehan
Cold winter morning with a descending super moon from a month ago.
I guess I'm still reeling from the 2+ weeks of extremely frigid weather because now when I look at the 10-day forecast and 5 of those days are supposed to be 50 degrees or above a part of me feels incredulous, a sense of disbelief. We're not even quite halfway through astronomical winter but that kind of forecast is more like March than January. That said, we're pretty close to rapidly increasing daylight and are 10 days away from 10 hours of daylight. We're also about out of our hemisphere's solar winter, the quarter of the year with the least amount of daylight. Because of the heat lag though we still have cold weather ahead (probably). I did read that by mid-February temperatures are supposed to be average or slightly below, which still sounds warm to me after the cold we've already experienced.
While it's warm for the next few days we'll remove the inner covers from our tunnels and open doors so air can circulate better. On warm days this time of year air exchange in the tunnels is important to quell the spread of any disease. This will also give us a chance to assess all of the greens and plan for the next few weeks of harvest, as well as get an idea of any sustained damage from the previous cold spell.
We've made great progress on our 2018 Crop Plan and are beginning to put the pieces of the crop rotation puzzle together for this season. Bed feet was calculated for each crop/family, 2015-2017 use is taken into account, cover crop species sown in summer/fall 2017 are considered, soil test results are analyzed, drainage is appreciated, and thus plans are made, 2018 farmscape takes form.
At least it's not too cold to play outside.
How I Enjoyed My Harvest
One Pot Meals
By Linda Dansbury
An eastern redcedar/juniper was an unfortunate casualty from a felled dying ash tree but it at least provided a glimpse of its beautiful red heartwood and growth rings.
Everyone is rushed these days, and who wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen doing dishes? Here are a few ideas for delicious dinners with easy clean up:
If you don't already have a slow cooker, it really is a worthwhile investment. It is a fine tool in both the winter and the summer - in the summer it is a great way to cook without heating up the house and it also saves a lot of time in doing dishes! If you are able to, purchase a pressure cooker that is also a slow cooker. I received one for Christmas a couple of years ago, and I love it. It sears, pressure cooks, slow cooks and even makes deserts and rice. And...it is one pot clean up! This week, I slow cooked pulled pork - so simple and delicious!
Cabbage, spinach, celeriac - I made a large batch of cole slaw to go with the pulled pork - many of the root veggies we are receiving are delicious in cole slaw - kohlrabi, celeriac, turnips, daikon - I added a little spinach for a dark green contrast and a nutritional boost. Use your favorite recipe - I typically use equal parts of neutral oil, white wine or apple cider vinegar and mayo. Add a bit of cayenne, dried mustard, salt and pepper to taste - whisk it up, mix with the veggies and let sit in fridge for taste to go through. This keeps for several days.
Beets, sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes, kohlrabi, turnips, daikon, rosemary, garlic - to continue on my one pot plan, in a large baking dish, cut up all the veggies you want to include - add much more than you can eat in one meal. Toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper and rosemary leaves. Put some type of meat on the top and roast all in a 375 degree oven until the meat is a desired doneness. If you use a small cut of meat such as chicken parts, roast the veggies for a little while on their own so they will be nice and tender when the meat is cooked through.
I like to use the leftover roasted veggies in a frittata - heat up the veggies in a skillet - I had a few leaves of kale, so I chopped those and added - then add eggs, allow to set on bottom for a couple minutes and then put in a 375 degree oven until the entire pan of eggs is set up - it depends how much you are making, but approximately 15-20 minutes for 8 eggs.
I also reaped some of the rewards of cooking back in September - I had made a batch of minestrone soup with the last of several veggies - beans, okra, tomatoes and greens and labeled and froze. This past week I thawed it out, browned some sausage and added to the soup, along with pasta and some fresh spinach. Topped with grated cheese - yum - a really satisfying winter dinner with very little clean up.
Enjoy the harvest!
Member Ideas and Suggestions
by Dana Hunting
I took a mix of the red and white turnips, cut them into bite size chunks then dropped them into salted boiling water for about 5 minutes, until tender. Drained, then back into the pot with a nice chunk of butter and a generous drizzle of maple syrup for another 5 minutes until well caramelized. Finished with salt. Awesome!