It has been a quiet two weeks. We’ve had a bit of sickness in our household (actually my son is down with the flu as I write this) and most of our days on the farm have been engaged in an assortment of winter tasks. Our small greenhouse is already full of vegetables for the new season: salad greens, spinach, escarole, frisee, peas, mustard greens, arugula, kale, chard. The exciting news on the greenhouse front is we finally purchased a vacuum seeder! This contraption is going to save us so much time this year. Normally, our crew spends hours and days seeding flats of vegetables throughout the season, but with the new seeder, it happens much faster. We can seed 120 flats in no time. Needless to say, our farm manager, Gregorio, is very happy! Other than greenhouse seeding, we finished putting up our NRCS high tunnel and they came out this week to approve it. This was part of a grant program from the USDA, in which the government paid for the whole house. Pretty nice deal. The burn pile has been a regular activity here in the mornings as well when the thermometer reaches below 20. In the upcoming weeks, we will continue to keep seeding as well as finish all of our 2013 planning (we always run late on this and it always creeps up on us too fast!). The biggest thing for us this year is I’m (Melissa) not going to be working on the farm as much as I did last season. Last season, I ran the pack-out and wash for the markets as well as ran the Grants Pass market for most of the season. But, I just got a new part-time job as the Executive Director of Rogue Advocates, so I’m transitioning out of “physical” farm duties for a bit while I focus on this work. Check out the website for more information about the mission and organization!
In other news, we did just put in an order for 50 fruit trees, so we are excited to plant our first orchard! We have chosen italian plums, apples and pears to start. In addition, we have purchased varieties of apples and pears that are October harvested and which can be stored in our cooler for the winter CSA program. Six years from now, we hope our winter CSA will have an abundance of products besides vegetables. We have plans to purchase two does this fall so we can start milking next spring and produce kefir, yogurt, and cheese with our goat milk, and hopefully, have those products for sale for CSA members as well. Diversification and big dreams!
We’re also working on a brand new website, hopefully to be launched in the next few weeks? The great Matthew Domingo from Farm to Fork Events is working on it with us and we can’t wait to get it up and running. A long overdue upgrade!
I hope you are enjoying the CSA. I scanned the produce departments at the local grocery stores recently and there is very little to no local produce, so I’m happy that at least you all get to supplement your diet with our produce. I know that Josh and I stress out over these boxes hoping that everyone is happy and enjoying what we provide. When I take a look at the produce departments, I know that we are providing a special service.
We also want to say THANK YOU to everyone for signing up for a seventh box and participating in our hoophouse revival. Like I said before, WE ARE NOT A FARM WITHOUT YOU! You are truly a participant in community supported agriculture!
In Your Boxes:
- 4# Carrots — Sweeter than ever with the icy temperatures!
- 2# Red Onions – I love red onions roasted with butternut squash and cauliflower. Such a good combination! Also, if you make a seed mixture of fenugreek, cumin, yellow mustard, fennel and coriander and toss that with the vegetables before roasting, yummy!
- Butternut Squash or Blue Ballet Winter Squash – I have to tell you about my breakfast this morning. I’m beginning a special diet—the GAPS diet—to heal my gut and some other inflammatory issues I have in my body, so I can’t eat potatoes and most of my diet consists of meat and vegetables. Anyway, this morning, I melted ghee (you can use butter if you like) and shredded butternut squash (probably two cups) and then made two nests in a pan with ghee (like hash browns). I cracked an egg in each (make a little depression for the egg) and fried the nest, flipping a couple times until the squash was cooked (taste it until it is done) and the egg. Wow! Amazing! I then cooked up some bacon and some savoy cabbage (also cooked in ghee) and ate it all together. I highly recommend this breakfast. I’m going to feel good all morning.One more detail: Butternut squash has a dimple on one end. It is not rotten. It is because we store hundreds of pounds of squash on top of each other and that’s why there is a depression. Grants Pass and Ashland 1 are getting Blue Ballet. Everyone else is getting butternut.
- 1/2# Salad Mix
- 3# Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes – This is an heirloom variety of potato with outstanding flavor!
- 1# Braising Mix – We put this in everything—on top of eggs, in stews and as a side dish with dinner. Sweet flavor!
- 1# Red Popcorn – Again, the instructions for these are the same as the last popcorn round. Take off the cob and pop in coconut oil, or in an air popper. It does well in both. So delicious! This is a variety called Red Beauty and the kernels stay red after popping, so it is pretty popcorn on top of tasty!
- 1# Beets – We’ve been shredding beets onto our salads and roasting them. They have amazing sweetness!
- 1# Parsnips – A stew staple. We eat a lot of soup and stew around here, at least a couple times a week. It is a guaranteed meal my kids will eat and nourishing with homemade bone broths. Parsnips go good with any stew!
- Savoy cabbage – A treat. We didn’t have the best cabbage crop this winter. As you know, our fall brassicas had trouble in the field with pests, etc. and we usually have abundant cabbage crops, but not this year. But, at least we were able to get out there and get a sampling for you all! The cabbage was harvested while frozen so there may be ice in it! I had it this morning and there was no ice. It also has not been washed. Enjoy!
- 1# Shallots – Great pizza toppers!
In my search for recipes for your box, I came across this Pininterest site all about winter CSA Recipes: Real Food Farms. A great resource.
RECIPES FOR YOUR CSA BOX: Jan.17.CSA
Have a wonderful rest of your January,
M, E, A & J