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December 2, 2019
Let's Eat a Salad
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek
Cutting arugula in the hoop tunnel.
I hope you had an enjoyable holiday and are as excited as I am to eat a green salad as a meal for every meal for the next week. Eating fresh lettuce last night while the outside world was bleak and dreary was heartwarming and reminded me once again to appreciate the wonders of clean healthy food in all its relative simplicity. I love lettuce most of the year, but its scarcity, as well as its flavor, during the winter months really makes me cherish it when it is around and even abundant, especially after heavy holiday meals.
Thanks to three unheated tunnels and one minimally heated tunnel we'll all be able to enjoy fresh greens through the winter (arugula, baby kale, spinach, greens mix, lettuce mix). The contrast of inside and outside the tunnels this time of year is significant, even though they're only separated by a 4mm thick film of transparent plastic. It is plastic, but at least its use is going towards growing organic produce and has an eight-year life, before it's used for something else around the farm, before it unfortunately ends up composted in the bowels of the earth over millennia, or the sun burns it up during its swelling preceding white dwarf phase many years from now.
And now it is winter, depending on which seasonal schedule you follow. It's snowing, which I currently prefer to rain. It also means we can now tally our total rainfall for the March-November growing season: 42.8 inches of rain fell on the farm during that time frame, our 3rd wettest season in 11 years, 5.5 inches above the average. Overall, I think, it was a pretty good season to grow vegetables outside. We endured wet periods but also enjoyed some dry ones (enjoyed once the irrigation infrastructure was in place). My bones tell me next season will be a mix of wet and dry again with a couple extravagant cloud bursts of precipitation. For now, let's immerse ourselves in the pleasures of wintertime!