Winter CSA Week 4: December 18th
Winter CSA Week 4
It’s hard to believe we are already at the halfway point of the winter CSA! This Friday December 18th from 3-6 we will be distributing our fourth share of the season. Remember that pick ups are in the small greenhouse on 15th Street. This distribution will be the last of 2020 as we take a month off. The next pick up will be in mid January!
As we near the winter solstice, it’s extra special to still be eating fresh vegetables. Enjoy the sweet greens and roots of the winter days:
Microgreen Spicy Mix
This week’s share has a unique vegetable: sunchokes, aka Jerusalem artichokes, are a root vegetable in the sunflower family. You may have seen them growing over the summer between our barn area and the hoop houses as a six foot tall small headed sunflower patch. They were great for pollinators throughout the season and the finches loved the seeds in the fall. Now that the plants have died back, we get to enjoy their delicious tuberous roots! Be sure to eat them relatively quickly, even though they look like a storage crop they tend to get mushy after a few weeks. I tried storing them outside of the fridge but later read they are better to store in a sealed bag in the fridge. Also, dirt is supposed to extend their shelf life, so we left the washing to you!
They are great roasted like a potato and are even a healthy source of carbohydrates safe for diabetics. Sunchokes can be shaved thin for a crunchy salad with a slightly nutty flavor. There is one drawback to sunchokes though: they tend to cause a lot of gas. So be sure to eat them with people you are, uh, comfortable with!
This week I attached a recipe for a warm sunchoke salad with a brown butter vinaigrette. I made it a few weeks ago with the spinach variation and was not disappointed! Sunchokes have a nice firm outer skin but get so soft and melty inside. This texture mixed with a lemony brown butter sauce and crunchy spinach is a great winter salad treat!
I’ve found that writing field notes in the winter can be a bit of a stretch! My time “in the field” is limited to about 20 hours a week and lots of layers of clothing (I’m not great with cold weather). One great improvement that Andy worked on this week was adding a few more beds to our 16th Street field! We decided to extend the eastern side of the field about 10 feet in order to add 4 more beds in. It may not sound like a lot, but we can squeeze in an extra pole bean crop and perennial herbs into the field for next season! The process to extend the field only took about three days of work. First, moving our straw bail bar left from our wedding and pulling out the existing fence in that area. Next, Andy flail mowed the grass and wild raspberries vines to prepare the ground for tilling, bed shaping, and topping with compost. We are going to let the new beds soak in some snow and rain, then cover with the tarps to protect from erosion and keep soil temperatures warmer.
We’ve been putting most of our time into crop planning for next season and our crowd lending campaign that we mentioned in the last email. Crop planning is a fun puzzle that takes a lot of time deciding on varieties, amounts to grow, and calculations based on how much space is available. Though we tend to stray from the crop plan as the season goes on, it’s necessary to have a blueprint for seed ordering and starting transplants in the spring. The crowd lending campaign is much more out of our comfort zone. Not only are we navigating unfamiliar financial arenas, we are presenting it to the public. But it’s a great learning experience and uplifting to see nearly fifty individuals take part in our little farm. If you would like to know more, review this slide deck to learn about our story, impact, and how the crowd lending refinance will affect our business.
We wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season! See you in the new year with more veggies to lift your spirits!
Amy and Andy